Triple-I Weblog | Invaluable metals make catalytic converters a pretty goal for thieves

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Tremendous increases in catalytic converter thefts have been reported across the country in recent months. The anti-pollution devices contain precious metals such as platinum, palladium or rhodium and can be removed from the floor of a car or truck in just five minutes.

According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB), thieves get from recyclers between $ 50 and $ 250 per converter, and the part can cost $ 900 or more to replace.

To curb the thefts, the NICB recently partnered with several Virginia law enforcement agencies to host catalytic converter etching events. During the events, mechanics etch and paint the license plates on the retrofitters, which are used to track parts in the event of theft.

Further etching events are currently planned in Virginia. The NICB is encouraging law enforcement agencies across the country to hold similar events to combat catalytic converter theft.

Other anti-theft options include installing a steel shield that fits over the catalytic converter, which requires time and additional tools to remove the part; Cages made of hard-to-machine, high-strength steel; or stainless steel cables welded from the catalytic converter to the vehicle frame.

In the event that your converter is stolen, in some cases the theft is covered by the optional fully comprehensive insurance. However, you are responsible for paying the deductible. If your deductible is $ 1,000 and the cost to repair the damage is $ 1,000, or maybe a few hundred more, you cannot choose to make a claim.

Drivers are advised to contact their insurance company to report the theft and determine the best course of action.

CatalystsCrime PreventionNICB