CATALYTIC CONVERTOR THEFT
The police department received our first report of catalytic convertor theft this morning. The theft occurred overnight on a main street, so these lowlifes are not shy about committing their crimes. The act of removing a convertor is very loud, so it is important to call 911 immediately if you hear a loud metal cutting noise or see anyone working under a vehicle, especially at night.
The Appeal of Catalytic Converters
The reason is the value of the metals used in the manufacturing of the catalytic converters. Catalytic converters contain platinum, rhodium, and palladium. The metals are expensive, and thieves sell the converters to scrap yards for several hundred dollars per piece, depending on the size of the converter and the current rate on the metals inside it. It can cost you on average up to $2000 to replace a catalytic converter, and it is illegal to drive your car without one. The resulting gap in your exhaust system also makes the car run poorly until it is fixed.
The rate of catalytic converter theft varies depending on the current prices of the metals inside it. Price increases typically increase thefts. Thieves look for easy targets when it comes to catalytic converter theft, and a few simple steps help make your car or SUV a less likely target.
Symptoms of Converter Theft
You’ll notice a loud rumbling or roaring sound as soon as you turn on the engine if your catalytic converter is missing. This gets louder when you hit the gas. The exhaust is not working properly, so the vehicle also drives rougher than usual, often with a sense of sputtering as you change speed. Go to the back of the car and look underneath. The catalytic converter is a round canister that connects two pieces of piping in the exhaust. You will see a gaping space in the middle of your exhaust if the converter is missing, and you will likely see signs of the piping being cut away.
Preventing Catalytic Converter Theft
Always park in well-lit areas when possible. If you have a personal garage, keep your car in the garage with the door closed when the vehicle is not in use. Park close to a building entrance or the nearest access road when parking in a public lot. This is due to the increased amount of pedestrian traffic in those areas.
Security devices are available that attach to the converter, making it harder to steal. Having the converter welded in place also makes it more difficult to remove. If you have a security system on your car, calibrate it so vibration sets it off. This ensures the alarm activates if a thief tries to saw off the converter. Video surveillance around your garage or driveway is also useful if you have the budget for it. Engrave your VIN onto your catalytic converter to make it easier to identify in case it does get stolen.