On Your Side: Catalytic converter theft
It's estimated that more than 150,000 catalytic converters were stolen across the United States last year.
Thieves can make around $200 for the precious metals in each catalytic converter. But the loss to the owner is even pricier. A recent theft cost one local business thousands of dollars.
According to CARFAX, in the Los Angeles area, the most popular vehicles targeted are:
- Toyota Prius
- Honda Accord
- Toyota Tacoma
- Honda CR-V
- Toyota Camry
Steps you can take to protect your vehicle:
- Have a muffler shop etch your VIN number onto the converter
- Spray-paint the converter with a highly visible high-heat paint
- You can install an anti-theft device on the converter
If parking in a garage is not possible, vehicle owners should try to park in well-lit areas and be aware of the areas where they have parked.
The good news: CARFAX says they're seeing data that shows catalytic converter thefts are plateauing. And some states are passing laws that target those who buy the stolen metals.
Other states are pushing for legislation that would require dealers to mark the converters so they can be tracked once located by law enforcement.
for more features.