Yes commodity prices are high:
A thief sneaked under the sport utility vehicle with a battery-powered
saw, slicing from the Toyota’s underbelly what may be one of the most
expensive small parts of the auto world: the catalytic converter, an
essential emissions-control device made with small amounts of metals
more precious than gold. Who knew?
…Theft of scrap metals like copper and aluminum has been common here and
across the country for years, fueled by rising construction costs and
the building boom in China. But now thieves have found an easy payday
from the upper echelon of the periodic table. It seems there may not be
an easier place to score some platinum than under the hood of a car…
The catalytic converter is made with trace amounts of platinum,
palladium and rhodium, which speed chemical reactions and help clean
emissions at very high temperatures. Selling stolen converters to scrap
yards or recyclers, a thief can net a couple of hundred dollars apiece.