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Catalytic Converter Theft Hurts Everyone

Catalytic Converter Theft (3)In a recent article, the New York Times, outlined how Catalytic converters have become the number one targeted part of theft amongst vehicles across the nation.  The St. Louis Police reported 50 thefts in 2019, and it grew to a whopping 420 in 2020.

Why would someone cut off a part and ruin it? The valuable metals in the converter are worth $500-$2,000 at salvage yards. And, it is easy. It takes a thief about two minutes to slide under the vehicle with a rechargeable reciprocating saw and make two cuts to the front and rear connectors to the catalytic converter.  

A thief can render the vehicle undrivable with repair bills of $2,000 to $3,500 per vehicle in these two minutes.   These costs don’t even include the potential vehicle downtime due to repairs or increased time to have repairs made due to the shortage of new catalytic converters.

So, what can you do to prevent or make the thefts more difficult?

Unfortunately, there is no silver bullet. Loss prevention is a multifaceted approach:

  • The utilization of a security cage or guard for your vehicle’s catalytic converter is an option. Watch YouTube video here. 
  • Review your premises to help determine what other security features need to consider for your vehicle parking/storage.   Things to review:
    • Can you park your vehicles in a garage or a fenced yard?  
    • Make sure that the parking areas are well lit and consider using motion lighting as a greater deterrent
    • Security cameras systems and signage can be effective and making sure they are strategically positioned for clear visibility
    • Consider hiring a security firm where you can have a physical presence. This approach could be affordable if the shared costs are amongst commercial neighbors.
    • Talk with your local law enforcement and ask if they can increase area patrols.
    • Ensure your vehicles are parked in a manner that provides a clear line of sight around and underneath the vehicle.

Everyone’s approach is different. You can adopt unique and creative ideas to provide the best deterrence for your vehicles.

If you would like help assessing your premises and potential risk, please contact your agent or call us at 800-888-0979.