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Humboldt Police: Auto Repair Thefts Leaves Customer with Big Repair Bills

By Natalie Potts
By npotts@wbbjtv.com

GIBSON COUNTY, Tenn.- Humboldt Police are investigating an auto repair theft that has left several customers with a repair bill they did not expect.

Police responded to Cowan's Auto Sales and Repair on East End Drive in Humboldt, after workers noticed there were 11 cars on the property missing catalytic converters. Investigators said catalytic converters are becoming more popular to area thieves, because they contain several precious metals worth between $200-$1,500 a piece.

"In 21 years, we've never had anything like this happen," said owner Jeff Cowan, "It is really brazen I mean, it's kind of crazy."

Cowan said the converters are difficult to remove. Employees said the thief would of had to jack up each car and saw off converter in at least two different places to get it off, which can do expensive damage to other parts that are underneath the vehicle.

"That makes a lot of noise and in the middle of the night I mean there are people that live around here," said Cowan.

Police said that four out of the eleven thefts were cars that were in the shop for repairs. After looking at the damage, customers who are at a loss told 7 Eyewitness News that they are disappointed.

"Times are tough, you know the economy is bad and people are out of work. I hate that people have to do this to get by," said theft victim Scotty Shannon. "I guess today's world is a little bit different, we probably need to bring our cars while the business is open and then pick them up as the business closes."

Cowan said his insurance company will not cover the damage, but he is offering a $1,000 dollar reward for any information leading police to make an arrest.

If you have any information in this case, call Humboldt Police at (731) 784-1322 or Gibson County Crime Stoppers at (731) 855-2005.
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