Deputies are investigating what appears to be a failed attempt to steal a catalytic converter from an SUV parked at the Trumbull County Fair.

A 23-year-old Mineral Ridge Woman reported finding the converter underneath her Honda CRV at the fair’s east parking lot late Sunday.

That’s not all she found.  In addition to the converter, the would-be thief left behind a battery-powered saw, a backpack, and two saw blades.

It’s not yet known if the person who cut off the converter was scared off by someone in the middle of the crime.

A catalytic converter is a device used to reduce emissions from a vehicle’s exhaust system. It contains a catalyst for chemically converting pollutants in exhaust gases into less harmful compounds.

They contain precious metals such as rhodium, platinum, and palladium, the price of which have risen sharply due to supply chains disrupted during the pandemic.

According to a report published by the Congressional Research Service last year, thefts of catalytic converters are on the rise.

The National Insurance Crime Bureau reports that the number of stolen catalytic converters increased nearly every month in 2020.

Thieves sell stolen catalytic converters to scrap yards that in turn sell them to recyclers who strip them of their precious metals.