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Stolen Catalytic Converter Buyers

Road buyers drive the market for stolen catalytic converters, enticing criminals to steal catalytic converters from your vehicles. Edmund Schwenk – Metallurgist/CEO of PGM Recovery Systems, Inc., based in the US, explains who these road buyers are and who enables this criminal activity.


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Edmund Schwenk

These roaming road buyers play a significant role in contributing to the theft of catalytic converters. These buyers travel city to city and state to state in search of acquiring catalytic converters for cash. Most of the time, road buyers purchase strictly with cash because it is untraceable, and as a result, this helps to enable criminals to steal converters.

Stolen Catalytic Converter Buyers p twoHow They Get Away With It

The methods these road buyers use are relatively simple. They send vans to automotive muffler and repair shops and then bid on their scrap converters. What they collect from these shops are legitimate because the shops obtain them through clients needing replacement converters. There is no issue with that until you figure out they are using these shops to legitimize the stolen converters they also buy. By mixing the legitimate scrap with the stolen, it covers their tracks even further. These repair shops need to recognize they may be enabling this criminal activity when selling converters to roaming road buyers for cash.

Where They Purchase Stolen Converters

Road buyers purchase illegitimate converters by scouring Facebook groups, eBay, Craigslist, OfferUp, social media direct messaging, and other online forums informing the audience when traveling through a specific city. The transaction may consist of a meeting spot where converters become sold out of someone’s trunk for cash. Most often than not, this type of dealing is illegal, and both parties are aware of the criminal consequences they would face if caught by law enforcement. Since road buyers generally pass through cities, only pay with cash, and launder through legitimate sources, it makes it incredibly difficult to detect them committing the crime of buying stolen merchandise (also known as fencing).

Stop Enabling Criminals From Stealing Converters. 

Some of these road buyers are licensed, while others are not. Those who are not do not comply with local requirements when buying converters. If you own a repair shop, do not support this activity. Always make sure that you are selling your catalytic converters to a reputable company. Take a little time and do some research. Ask yourself, do they have a website? Do they have a team of professionals on staff? Recognize if you are dealing with someone who is circumventing our nation’s anti-money laundering laws. By dealing with a professional organization, you cut out the risk of enabling criminals and probably make more money with your converters!

To find out more about PGM Recovery Systems visit

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About the author – Edmund Schwenk

For over 30 years, Ed has been engaged in the processing/refining/manufacturing of precious metals. Early in his career, he received training in a laboratory setting as an Assayer utilizing classical fire assay, crucible fusion, and cupellation techniques. This, coupled with in-plant manufacturing process experiences, led to advancement as Senior Vice President in charge of precious metals refinery operations for Pure Metals Corporation. Activities included recycling potassium gold cyanide solutions, post-industrial electronic scrap, and electrolytic refining of gold and silver dore’ bars. Responsible for directing the fabrication of high purity precious metals products (gold, silver, palladium, iridium) Sputtering Targets for multiple defense contractors and government testing laboratories during the Reagan era Star Wars projects. Ed’s unique experience in precious metals processing technologies has benefited PGM Recovery Systems, Inc. through the development of two disruptor technologies for use in the autocatalyst recycling sector.