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Catalytic Converter Thefts at Marywood University

MARYWOOD UNIVERSITY — A case of stolen catalytic converters has some college students in Lackawanna County on alert. The converters are being stolen from ...

MARYWOOD UNIVERSITY -- A case of stolen catalytic converters has some college students in Lackawanna County on alert.

The converters are being stolen from cars parked at Marywood University near Scranton.

Catalytic converters are an anti-pollution device under your car next to the muffler, and the metal they are made of can be considered to be valuable.

Police say someone -- possibly a group of people -- has been taking them off of cars parked in two different lots on Marywood's campus.

There is never a shortage of vehicles, with the sea of cars coming and going from Marywood's commuter lots at all hours. Campus safety officers say students' cars have been robbed of a part that is considered to be especially valuable -- due to what it contains.

The converters contain platinum -- a highly valuable precious metal.

"To me, the first thing that I thought was, the metal that's in there must be high on the market, you know, that's why they're taking it," said student Pattilynn Pietryak.

Students were sent an alert after the thefts happened this week. Dunmore police are investigating and officers say during the night time hours, two catalytic converters were taken -- and they almost nabbed a third.

The thefts aren't centralized, either -- they happened in two different commuter lots.

"Either here, or right where you said up on Maxis Lane, I'm always either one of the two and I'm always there," said freshman Caitlyn O'Hara.

O'Hara was surprised to hear about the thefts, and how much the car part can cost to replace -- several hundreds of dollars.

"I hope they find who it is, though, because I don't want anyone stealing mine and I don't have that kind of money!" she said. "I'm paying off school right now."

Campus safety officers say they have increased patrols in the parking lots, and have also asked students to stay vigilant and keep an eye out.

"Maybe park under a light, just looking for a spot under a light. When you're coming out after school at 9:30 at night, just be careful, be cautious," advised Pietryak.

Despite their value, cars are still able to be driven if they lack a catalytic converter.

Anyone with further information about these thefts is asked to call police in Dunmore.