In the United States today there is a real, and rising, problem with catalytic converter thefts. According to a recent report from the National Insurance Crime Bureau, there were over 25,000 thefts between the years 2008 to 2015.
This is something you need to be aware of, especially if your vehicle has a large ground clearance, as the converter is located in the exhaust system underneath the vehicle.
In 2015, there were 3,986 thefts of catalytic converters, compared to the year 2008, when there were a reported 3,246 thefts. It’s important to note that these numbers only reflect insurance claims data, so the actual number of catalytic converter thefts in the county overall is likely to be far higher than these figures illustrate.
Why Steal Catalytic Converters?
There has been a huge market for converting stolen metals into cash via the medium of scrap metal operators. It’s important to note that these businesses are perfectly legal and above board, however, through offering cash for scrap metals, they often unwittingly offered criminals an easy way to get rid of their stolen goods.
Due to the proliferation of scrap metal thefts that often involved disabling the lighting systems of airport runways and roadways, lawmakers decided to pass robust new laws on recycling to tighten metal recycling regulations.
However, the unique point of a catalytic converter is that is contains a small amount of one of the precious metals rhodium, palladium, or platinum. It’s because of these metals that thieves place such an important emphasis on stealing catalytic converters, as depending on what ones they contain, and the amount of said metal, they can fetch as much as $240 in recycling value.
With professional thieves managing to steal up to 15 or so converters per day, often from SUVs, as they don’t need to use a jack to access the catalytic converter, it’s easy to see why the theft of these pieces of equipment has become such a huge problem in the U.S. today.
Although a converter is fairly cheap to replace, the stealing of it can damage a car significantly, resulting in costly repairs for the vehicle owner. It’s for this reason, it’s important to purchase a security device for your converter, or to inscribe your vehicle identification number on it. Also, it is imperative to ensure you have auto insurance to give you peace of mind should the worst happen.
Looking for auto insurance? Request your free auto insurance quote from BOLT Insurance Agency today.