Indore (Madhya Pradesh): If you or anyone close to you owns a Maruti Suzuki Eeco Van, then beware.
A gang of thieves is active in the city whose members are targeting not the Eeco Van, but the silencer (exhaust pipe) of the vehicle, as some of its components are made of Platinum Metal Group (PMG), which is very expensive.
Many of the Eeco owners around the city have reported to the police that their vehicle’s silencer has been stolen when they had parked it outside their home at night or in an isolated place.
However, it would be difficult to quote the exact number of cases as the police station in-charges have not lodged an FIR in these cases and have simply taken a written complaint.
One of the complainants, wishing anonymity, said that he owns an Eeco Van and his vehicle's silencer was stolen a couple of days ago. “I discovered the theft only when I started my vehicle and heard a truck-like sound from the otherwise sound-less vehicle. I was surprised to see the CCTV footage in which an accused could be seen going under my vehicle and leaving with the silencer within a few minutes, around midnight,” he said.
Officials of insurance companies confirmed that they have come across over 30 cases of stolen silencers of Eeco vans in the last two months.
“Thieves have more interest in stealing silencers of Eeco Van as it is easy to open and it has the catalytic converter made of some expensive metals. The theft incidents increased when the company added the converter to decrease the emission of gases in BS6 vehicle,” insurance consultant Mukesh Trivedi said.
One unit of silencer costs Rs 74,000
One of the Maruti Genuine Parts dealers in the western part of the city too confirmed the increase in such theft cases and said that many people approached him to get new silencers in the last two months.
“I am not sure of the exact reason but what I have learnt from different sources is that the silencer contains some expensive metal which attracts the thieves. The cost of a new silencer is Rs 74,000 and it is covered by the insurance company in some cases,” he said.
Why thieves targeting Eeco silencers
The metal dust found in the silencers can be sold at a high price in the open market. Moreover, the catalytic converter in the silencer is made of three PMG metals including platinum, palladium and rhodium. The cost of metal dust is about Rs 2,000 to Rs 4,000 per 10 grams while the sensors in the silencer could also be sold for over Rs 20,000.
Such gangs were active in Gujarat and Maharashtra earlier, but now they are active in the city also.
It is a serious issue, will direct officials to take action
Additional commissioner of police Manish Kapooria said that he will take action in the matter if anyone lodges such a complaint. “It is a serious issue and I will direct the officials to take cognisance over the same,” the additional CP said.