Catalytic converter thefts
Catalytic converter thefts from vehicles involve the removal of catalytic converters from exhaust systems. Thieves carry out this crime by going underneath the vehicle and physically cutting the convertor off. Although this can be a noisy process, it is quick and thieves can go easily undetected.
A catalytic converter is part of a vehicle’s exhaust system. They are targeted because they contain a small amount of precious metals, which have a high resale value. The main reason a thief would steal a catalytic converter is so they can sell it to a recycling facility.
This theft often occurs in the early morning, in areas that are isolated or poorly-lit with no nearby video surveillance cameras. Thieves frequently use cordless reciprocating saws to carry out these crimes. Typical vehicles that are targeted include SUV’s and trucks because they are higher off the ground and easier for criminals to access. Additionally, thieves aim to steal from vehicles that are left unattended or unwatched for long periods of time.
Areas to park your vehicle:
- Keep your vehicle in a secure area, such as your home garage, a fenced lot, or near a wall or barrier. Avoid parking outside.
- If you park in your driveway, use motion sensing exterior house lights.
- If you are parking outside, choose a well-lit area in view of security cameras, or an area with lots of people around.
Avoid being a victim:
- Install a product designed to prevent catalytic converter theft, such as protective cages, alarms and straps.
- Adjust your vehicle security system to respond to vibrations, such as ones produced by saws.
- Watch for suspicious electrical tool noises and people under cars, especially at night or in isolated parking lots.
If you see something, say something!
Typically, a cutter of some sort is required to remove the catalytic converter, resulting in loud noises. If you hear or see suspicious activity near parked vehicles, report it to the police. If the suspicious activity is currently in process call 9-1-1.
Reporting all theft
All catalytic converter thefts (or attempted thefts) must be reported to the police of jurisdiction as soon as possible.
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