Amid an alarming rise in the theft of catalytic converters in New Jersey and around the country, Old Bridge Police are hoping you can help track down at least one gang of thieves.

Video surveillance of thieves cutting out the catalytic converters from several vehicles in Old Bridge have captured a white BMW 8 Series coupe with a black carbon fiber roof being used by three suspects.

Investigators also say several other New Jersey towns are reporting the same vehicle may be connected to catalytic converter thefts in their jurisdictions.

https://www.facebook.com/oldbridgepd/posts/359805596180521

Why are thieves stealing catalytic converters?

A catalytic converter helps clean the exhaust emitted by your vehicle. When it is removed, your car can sound very loud when you start the engine.

Catalytic converters have a thin coating of rhodium on the inside.

Rhodium is one of the rarest and most expensive elements in the world. It is more valuable than gold, silver and platinum combined.

A single ounce of rhodium sells on the open market for over $17,000 per ounce. By comparison, an ounce of gold is currently valued at $1,859.

The extraction process required to produce rhodium from raw minerals is both complex and expensive.

There is approximately a gram of rhodium in each catalytic converter. Thieves typically wind up taking the catalytic converters to scrap yards, and selling them on the cheap.

Rhodium is also likely to continue to go up in value due to the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine and resulting world sanctions against Russia.

Eighty percent of the world's rhodium deposits are located in Russia and South Africa.

Eric Scott is the senior political director and anchor for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at eric.scott@townsquaremedia.com

Click here to contact an editor about feedback or a correction for this story.

The 10 Most Stolen Vehicles In New Jersey

How to get from Monmouth/Ocean to the Holland Tunnel without paying tolls

Sometimes even your GPS doesn't know the back way to certain places.

9 things New Jersey would rather ban than plastic bags