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Suspected catalytic converter thieves lead police on chase across Twin Cities

Police say the incident started when a citizen witnessed the theft, and when officers responded the suspects sped down interstates 94, 694 and 35E to get away.

BROOKLYN PARK, Minn. — Editor's note: The video above first aired on Nov. 15, 2021. 

Two suspects are in custody and facing charges following an interrupted catalytic converter theft and subsequent chase that wound across the Twin Cities overnight. 

Brooklyn Park police say the incident started around 11:15 p.m. Sunday when a citizen called 911 to report a catalytic converter theft in progress on the 700 block of Pearson Parkway. Squads responded, located the reported suspect vehicle and attempted a traffic stop.

Instead of pulling over, police say the suspects took off, leading officers on a chase that wound from Brooklyn Park across Interstates 94, 694 and 35E, eventually ending up on a side street in St. Paul where the driver lost control and crashed. 

The two suspects were taken into custody following a short foot chase, Brooklyn Park police shared in a news release. Investigators recovered the stolen catalytic converter, theft tools, and a firearm reported as stolen. 

Communities across the Twin Cities have been wrestling with a rising tide of catalytic converter thefts. Thieves with the right tools can remove them in seconds, and sell them to junk dealers for up to $200 apiece for the precious metals inside the device.   

For the targeted vehicle owner, however, it's a far more expensive proposition. Getting a new converter installed can run well over $1,000. A number of police departments have experimented with solutions to discourage catalytic converter thefts, including painting or etching them with ID numbers so parts dealers will know they are stolen. 

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