TTPD recently issued a press release regarding the rash of catalytic converter thefts from vehicles in parking lots recently. Victims have reported thefts from area gyms, movie theaters, and other densely populated areas. We have a few tips to help protect yourself.
Thieves target the catalytic converters on vehicles because of the precious metals inside the parts. The catalytic converter is an anti-pollution device with some precious metals like rhodium and platinum inside them. In some cases, the converters can be unbolted but mostly, thieves use a battery-operated reciprocating saw and cut just it out. Replacing your catalytic converter could cost $3,000+, depending on your vehicle. (Was interesting that the Toyota Prius is one of the most targeted vehicles nationwide.)
This is often seen as a crime of opportunity, meaning jacked-up vehicles easy to get under are soft targets for sure. Trucks and whatnot that would be easier to slip under and out quickly. Keep that in mind when you park your vehicle.
First, we looked online at anti-theft devices and there are a lot of interesting choices. However, looking at some of the videos online, it would be easier and cheaper in some cases to rig your own. One of our favorites involved welding a few little pieces of cable in a unique way.
Be sure to park in well-lit and well-trafficked areas, that has always been the first tip for this, but now it’s getting so bad, that before you finish your 30-minute workout, somebody has cut your truck up and gone.
Paint your catalytic converter with bright-colored, high-heat paint. Etch your license plate number or another identifier into the part itself.
Above all, If you see someone suspicious crawling around under vehicles, especially if they’re in a parking lot, please call 911. If they leave in another vehicle, get a description and license plate number if possible.
Here is a quick vid we found on YouTube: