NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - Catalytic converter thefts are on the rise across the county including in Davidson County.

It takes a few minutes, and it'll cost you big time.

"They're gonna cut it, they're gonna snip it, and they're gonna drag it out," Midas Mechanic Robert Shelton said.

"Churches just simply have to be careful," Minister Les Chapman with Hendersonville Church of Christ.

While doing God's work at Hendersonville Church of Christ, a sinner had their eyes set on their shuttle bus.

"Our driver went down to Nashville to pick up 'Room in the Inn,'" Chapman said. "It was on a Sunday night in February, and he came back and noticed that the van sounded like the muffler had fallen off."

One look underneath, and they found the problem.

"Somebody had climbed under, cut one side of the Catalytic Converter off, started cutting the other side," Chapman said. "Just taking it to the repair shop cost about $850, just to have it reattached."

Chapman joins a long list of Catalytic Converter victims.

"It was definitely a noticeable increase," Sgt. Neal Harris said.

From Hendersonville PD to MNPD Police Department across the nation are noticing a rise in Catalytic Converter thefts because of what's inside.

"We have over 100 reporters this year," Lt. Michael Warren, Property Crimes Lt with MNPD, said. "You practically have a gold nugget sitting underneath your car. And the bad guys know it."

Every Catalytic Converter has three precious metals: Platinum, Palladium, and Rhodium, which is valued at up to $29,000 an ounce. Thieves get away making thousands while you're left paying hundreds for your ride.

"On a universal, it's usually around $400 for a universal," Shelton said. "But if it's a direct, where you have to have one that's actually built for the car, then you're anywhere from $500 to $1,700."

It's why State Senator Paul Bailey's trying to pass legislation to stop this auto crime in Tennessee. The bill requires records from the person buying or selling the Catalytic Converter, where it came from, have those records for three years, and made available to law enforcement.

"This will be a game-changer for the people of Tennessee," Bailey said.

While the bill makes its way through the capitol, Minister Chapman's parking their church buses in the front, right where Hendersonville Police patrols every few minutes. Their mission at the church--unshaken by this crime.

"We'll just fix it and keep on doing the work that God's called us to do," Chapman said.

To read the full article by the National Insurance Crime Bureau on catalytic converter thefts, click here is now with you on the go! Get the latest news updates and video, 4WARN weather forecast, weather radar, special investigative reports, sports headlines and much more from News4 Nashville.

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