Catalytic Converter Theft How to Prevent It
Catalytic Converter theft is up on the rise again as you may have seen posts about it on your Nextdoor or Ring app. We have had multiple vehicles brought into our shop where the catalytic converters have been stolen; which costs quite a lot of money to replace. The thieves are getting more brazen in their attempts and even stealing the catalytic converters in broad daylight! They can be stolen in a matter of minutes and cause thousands of dollars of damage.
What is a Catalytic Converter?
Catalytic Converter is an exhaust emissions component that converts harmful gases that your engine produces into less harmful gases and is usually located under the vehicle (part of the exhaust system).
Why do they want to steal it?
Catalytic Converters are made of precious metals such as platinum, palladium, gold and rhodium, to give you an idea of it's worth - one ounce of platinum is valued at $790.00. Once thieves steal the converter they usually will take them to a metal scrap yard and sell them for about $200-$400 each. Pretty good profit for a few minutes of work which is why they are popular.
How do they steal it?
Thieves go under the vehicle and will cut the pipes on either end of the converters with a reciprocating saw. Vehicles with more ground clearance are more vulnerable such as pick-up trucks, SUV's or even vans. Recently these thieves have been getting brave, using floor jacks to raise regular cars to access the converter.
How to prevent from theft
There are many ways to prevent the catalytic converter from being stolen. The simplest ways would be to be aware of your surroundings of where you park your vehicle. Police authorities recommend parking in a locked garage, or at least in a well-lit area. Other ways to protect your vehicle is to install a guard of some sort to make it more difficult to access which would deter the thieves.
A new and quick way to deter thieves today is to have your license plate number etched on to the catalytic converter. This will deter them because the scrap yard will not buy them because if caught with a stolen converter it is now a serious Federal crime. It has recently been moved up to a Class C Felony, which means thieves can get up to 5 years in prison and pay $10,000 in fines.
Shige’s Premier Auto Service wants to help and is offering courtesy catalytic converter etching to protect drivers from catalytic converter theft.
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