Police Warning: Catalytic Converter Thefts

Posted by Norm Charney by Sean Murphy on April 21, 2015

Along with approaching warmer seasonal weather comes the likelihood of more criminal activity. Already this month police in southern California warned the public about a recent increase in the theft of catalytic converters from parked vehicles. In fact, the spike in this crime is sweeping the state, prompting police to advise the public to use theft prevention techniques.

Criminals typically target cars and trucks in car dealer and industrial and warehouse parking lots that are unattended nights or weekends. Thieves value catalytic converters, the anti-smog devices required in many vehicles, as a source of valuable precious metals including platinum, palladium, rhodium, and gold. Recent increases in the price of metal in the U.S. have prompted a major increase in converter theft. Thieves can sell a stolen converter to scrap yards for $100 to $150, or more.

A catalytic converter can cost well over $1,000 to replace. Late-model trucks and SUVs are particularly at risk to the theft due to their high ground clearance and easily removed, bolt-on catalytic converters. Thieves also target welded-in converters because they take only minutes to cut off vehicles.

Unfortunately, the process of quickly removing a converter by using a portable power saw can often damage other components of the car. When thieves damage components like wiring or a fuel line, it can have dangerous consequences.

Police note that more thefts occur during the early morning hours. Many drivers don’t even realize that the part was stolen until they turn on their vehicles and hear their engine's gravelly roar.

Owners, managers and workers at dealers, factories, and offices can prevent catalytic converter theft by parking within a fenced area that's busy during the day and secured at night.

Stealth proactive live surveillance can detect and deter car and car part theft for greater security while reducing security guard and other expenses. A Stealth operator can see unusual activity such as catalytic converter theft, activate an audible warning to deter the thieves, and call the local police.

Please contact Stealth today for more information to protect your auto dealership or warehouse, including the parking lot. Visit our web site to see actual videos of criminals being apprehended stealing cars and car parts.