We have all done a great job of staying home to save lives during this COVID-19 pandemic. Unfortunately, some have taken advantage of these Stay at Home orders to victimize others by stealing their catalytic converters.
Catalytic converters are part of almost every vehicle. They help reduce exhaust emission from your engine. They are also extremely expensive to replace.Thieves target catalytic converters for this very reason – they are valuable.
Research shows that criminals target catalytic converters to strip them of metals for quick cash. The price of certain precious metals found in catalytic converters rose significantly starting in 2019. Hybrid cars are prime targets because they have two power sources – an electric motor and a gas/diesel engine – so their catalytic converters are used less frequently to process pollutants.
This means that the metals inside them are less likely to corrode, making them more valuable.Since mid-March when our Stay at Home orders were enacted by the County, we have seen 29 cases of catalytic converter thefts, nearly all of them from Toyota Priuses.
What are ways in which you can protect your catalytic converter? While there is no 100% effective way to protect your catalytic converter, protective plates can be installed to create a barrier to make it more difficult to steal.
When possible, park in well-lit areas and, if you have a garage, do all you can to park inside it, and make sure all access to your space is locked when you are not home. Some cars will allow you to have your alarm system go off if the vehicle detects vibrations (such as when a thief is attempting to remove your catalytic converter).
Finally, consider engraving your vehicle identification number (VIN) on the catalytic converter — this may alert a scrap dealer that it was stolen.
Stay alert, stay safe, stay healthy, Mountain View. We’re a call away if you need us.