How to Avoid Getting Your Catalytic Converter Stolen

Avoid Getting Your Catalytic Converter Stolen

Catalytic converters are valuable because of the platinum, palladium, and rhodium they contain – and they’re also very valuable to thieves. Since 2021, converter theft has doubled to an average of 130,000 stolen units annually. This creates a concerning environment for diesel, gasoline, and hybrid vehicle owners.

So, if you’re one of those vehicle owners, you’ll want to adopt habits to avoid getting your converter stolen. To safeguard what’s rightfully yours, tune in to our tutorial or keep reading.

Avoid the Far, Dark Side of Parking Lots

The idea is to discourage thieves from targeting your vehicle. In public parking areas, avoid the far side of the lot. Instead, choose to park your car close to the entrance, where there’s more foot traffic and the building’s cameras have a good view of your vehicle. If you have to park your vehicle in a public area at night, choose to do so under a lamplight near the entrance.

But most of the time, your car is parked in the comfort of its own driveway. So, what can you do to make sure thieves don’t target your vehicle when it’s parked in front of your home?

Take Measures to Safeguard Your Vehicle & Your Driveway

Although various organizations and industry leaders are shedding light on converter theft, it’s time to shed light on your driveway to protect your property. Install motion-sensor lights and cameras for your driveway and entrance. This way, you’ll be alerted of any motion near your car and potential thieves will be flooded in bright lights.

To protect your vehicle, install an alarm in your car and increase the sensitivity. The alarm will alert you if anyone tampers with your vehicle. If you want to be extra cautious, add a sticker to your window advertising your alarm system. This will deter any potential thieves from even approaching your car!

Now that we’ve got that covered, are there more steps to take to decrease the chances of converter theft?

Protecting the Converter Unit Itself

To protect the converter unit from being stolen, you can install an anti-theft device on it, such as a cage or steel plates. You can also engrave the vehicle VINs and your phone number on the unit directly. If your converter gets stolen, this can help law enforcement identify the stolen unit when it eventually shows up in a yard or recycling facility.

Spray painting your converter in bright, flashy colors can make thieves think twice about stealing it. Converters are gray and dirty. Thieves don’t want to attract attention to themselves by selling brightly colored units.

Why is it Important to Alert Law Enforcement of Any Theft?

Signaling a converter theft helps law enforcement to track theft patterns and catch thieves. And when you report a theft to your local police department, you’re actively participating in the fight against converter theft.

Your converter shouldn’t get stolen, and your vehicle shouldn’t be targeted. The reality is, though, that thieves are still out there. By following these guidelines, however, you put yourself one step ahead of them and safeguard your possessions, ensuring that what’s rightfully yours remains untouchable.

PMR’s Place in the Fight Against Converter Theft

Although PMR doesn’t purchase catalytic converters by the piece, our suppliers do. Scrap metal and automotive recyclers deal with converter buyers and sellers, making them the first in the supply chain to feel the impact of any theft. This is why we understand their concerns and engage in the fight against it. Last year, we took concrete steps to raise awareness for legitimate recyclers and assist government officials in drafting anti-theft laws.

We joined IPMI’s Preventing Auto Catalyst Theft (PACT) committee with a goal to help provide effective measures to discourage catalytic converter theft on a national scale. PACT advocates its solutions with government officials to create comprehensive legislation for apprehending and prosecuting converter thieves.

Several other industry leaders have also united with PACT, allowing the committee to gain true allies at every step of the recycling supply chain. Together, we can boost public awareness regarding the importance of precious metals in the global economy and bring the needs of legitimate recyclers to the forefront.

For more information, visit PMR’s Resource Center.

Published: October 11, 2023
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