Police Departments across the nation are warning their communities about the rise in catalytic converter thefts. Here are some tips to prevent you from being a victim and information on what you should do if you find your vehicle has been damaged.
Police Media Release:
Catalytic Converter theft is on the rise nationwide.
1. Why are thieves targeting a vehicle’s catalytic converters?
– Thieves can sell this stolen vehicle part to buyers for several hundred dollars.
– Thieves can steal this part from under a vehicle in a matter of minutes.
2. How do thieves steal this vehicle part?
– Sometimes thieves unbolt the catalytic converter, but more often they just cut the part with a saw.
3. Why does this matter to our citizens?
– A stolen catalytic converter replacement can cost anywhere from $500 to $3,000 depending on the make and model of your vehicle.
– Some have comprehensive insurance that might help fix their car, but the hassle it creates for a victim to fix the car is often frustrating.
4. What vehicles are targeted?
– Easy answer is “all vehicles” that have a catalytic converter.
– Thieves love easy targets, so trucks and sport utility vehicles are often targeted because it’s easy to slide under the vehicle rather than jack it up.
– Businesses that operate a fleet of vehicles are often targeted.
5. How can I help prevent this type of theft from my vehicles?
– Install an anti-theft device on your catalytic converter. The internet is filled with devices that help protect the catalytic converter. The following are a few “examples” of these types of devices. “None of these devices can guarantee your device won’t get stolen but it will make cutting the cat converter out more difficult.
-CATLOC: Toyota has its own device, called a Catloc. The Catloc has over 45 bespoke fitments, so the device should fit quite a few models in the range. Check with your local Toyota retailer for details.
-CatClamp: The CatClamp ‘clamps’ to the exhaust pipes, not the converter, allowing different sized and shaped converters to be protected. This eliminates the risk of damaging the converter, heat shield or oxygen sensors. Locked to the vehicle’s chassis up to seven times, it makes stealing your catalytic converter very difficult for a thief in a hurry.
– Mark your Catalytic converter with a serial number. Mark it to protect it. Some garages can etch a unique serial number onto your catalytic converter so it can be easily identified if it is stolen. You’ll also be provided with a sticker to be displayed in your window that indicates your catalytic converter is marked which can help prevent theives from targeting your vehicle.
6. Be strategic about where you park your vehicle and install cameras that can notify you of activity around your vehicle.
– This seems like an obvious answer, and it is. Unfortunately, if you don’t park on your driveway then this can be significantly more difficult to implement.
– There are alternative options to keep an eye on your car when you park at home. Wildlife trail cameras could be utilized – but realistically it’s best to park in areas where there’s CCTV filming anyway
– As always, park in areas that are well lit and traveled whenever possible.
7. Lastly. what can you do if your catalytic converter is stolen?
If you come out in the morning and start your car, you’ll know by the loud exhaust noise that your catalytic converter was stolen. Here are a few steps that can get you going again:
– Contact your insurance company and take pictures of the damaged exhaust pipe where the catalytic converter used to be. Comprehensive insurance covers stolen auto parts.
– Check your cameras or ask area neighbors or businesses if they have cameras that may have caught the theft.
– File a police report, this will help police track these crimes and might assist in arrests.
– While your new catalytic converter is being installed, ask the repair shop about adding an anti-theft device to prevent future thefts or see if they can add a unique identification number.