What Car Parts Do Chop Shops Want?

If you have ever been a victim of vehicle theft, it was likely due to the thief wanting to sell your car for parts. This is typically done at a “chop shop”, which is a shop illegally removing parts from stolen vehicles to then sell. While other parts on your vehicle can be stripped and sold to the highest bidder, there are some that tend to be more popular than others. The following car parts are ones you should be most concerned about with keeping safe.

Catalytic Converters

One of the most popular types of parts to be stolen are catalytic converters, as reported on Aol.com. They are quick to take, even without stealing the vehicle. The catalytic converter is a piece from underneath your fleet vehicle that helps to reduce pollution from exhaust systems. Due to the precious metal content of these converters, including platinum, rhodium and palladium, they have become valuable to chop shops. The part can go for $100 or more, and if you have a truck or SUV that is high off the ground, your fleet is more at risk.

Reduce your risk: Engraving the license plate number of each business vehicle on the converter may deter them as this can be tracked.

Wheels and Rims

One of the oldest forms of stripping cars for parts is by taking the wheels and rims. Since many of them are made of quality, expensive metals like alloy, they can go for about $500 each. This is something you need to be aware of with your business vehicles. The higher quality rims the wheels of your fleet have, the higher your risk.

Reduce your risk:  One way to reduce your risk is with tire locks or locking wheel nuts, but it isn’t 100 percent effective.

Entertainment Systems

Any type of entertainment system you have in your fleet vehicles is at risk, particularly the high-end ones that are easy to remove, such as DVD players or CD players. Once they get into your car, any portable entertainment systems are likely to be stolen. If you have a mounted CD or DVD player in the dashboard, it might take them a little longer, but they can still take them. The same goes for any speakers you added to your vehicles.

Reduce your risk: If your car audio system has a removable control plate, remove it whenever practical. The car audio system is of little use to a would-be thief with a missing control panel. Install an alarm system, and always park in well-lighted areas at night.

Portable GPS Systems

The newest hot item to steal from vehicles for chop shops is a portable GPS unit. While many newer vehicles come with GPS units built-in, many other vehicles have portable varieties. They can quickly get into your vehicle, remove the GPS unit, and sell it for $100 or more.

Reduce your risk: Be sure if you have these GPS units, they are hidden when the car is parked, otherwise your vehicle just became a target for theft.

As reported onABC News, thieves refrain from theft if security cameras are nearby, there are noisy neighbors, it is during the daytime, or your car has a kill switch or alarm. This helps you know where to park and what extra security you can get for your vehicle. You should also have auto insurance and crime insurance for your business to protect against vehicle theft and vandalism.