SUMMERVILLE, SC (WCSC) - The owners of Johnson's Used Auto Parts on HWY 78 in Summerville are out of hundreds of dollars after crooks stole 2 catalytic converters Sunday evening just before 7:30. It was a quick burglary that only took 7 minutes.
While trying to sell a Jeep Cherokee to a customer, co-owner Dennis Bixby noticed a pipe on the ground and knew something was wrong.
"We knew we've been hit again. We went back and reviewed our surveillance video and saw 2 individuals cutting the converters off the cars," said Bixby.
According to the Charleston County Sheriff's Office, two white men between the ages of 25 and 40 took off with the catalytic converters, a pollution control device underneath cars.
Bixby said, "They didn't seem like they cared what so ever, it didn't bother them a bit. It's obvious we got cameras all around our business and it didn't bother them a bit to walk right in front of the camera and put their face on it."
The video shows the suspects were driving a red GMC Sierra crew cab truck. It has chrome fender flares that are only on the front fenders. There are also chrome rails on the top of the bed of the truck and gray and black stripes along the sides.
Bixby said the converters contain expensive platinum and crooks try to make quick money by selling it as scrap metal.
"So we have to take it a muffler shop and have a converter installed. These converters cost anywhere from 4 to 5 hundred dollars for these vehicles," said Bixby.
In addition to nearly 50 security cameras, Bixby now has attack dogs patrolling his car lot. He hopes thieves will think twice before stealing from him again.
Bixby said, "We are going to catch them, it's just a matter of time and we are going to do everything we can to prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law."
Johnson's Used Auto Parts is offering a $500 reward to help catch the thieves.
Call Crime Stoppers at 554-1111 if you saw anything suspicious around the car lot last Sunday night around 7:30pm.