Thousands of catalytic converters on vehicles are stolen each year in the country alone. This is a crime which is more common than you think and a fast crime which only takes a few minutes to commit.
A catalytic converter is an object which can be located underneath a vehicle. Having a converter on the vehicle reduces the gasses which are ejected from the exhaust pipe. To steal a converter the criminals, need a car wheel jack, an angle grinder drill and a few minutes of time. Although normal size cars are targeted, SUVs are more vulnerable to be targeted. This is because thieves have enough space to slide under the vehicle without having to use a car jack.
Once removed the catalytic converters are illegally sold on the black market for minerals/precious metals such as rhodium, palladium and platinum. The price can vary on the size and age of each converter, often selling for £500 or more.
In London (United Kingdom) alone more than 10,000 thefts regarding catalytic converters were reported to the police and recorded on the police database system in the year 2021.
So how do you reduce the chance of a catalytic converter being stolen?
To decrease the risk of thieves targeting catalytic converters you should pay attention to your surroundings. We advise you to park in secure areas that are well lit and not in the corner of an empty parking lot. If possible and close by, try parking in place which is monitored by CCTV.
If you have a garage, park your vehicle inside. It might take an extra few minutes to secure your car inside but you must stay on top of the issue, as this will prevent thieves from stealing as your car is in the most secure place.
Another way to reduce the risk of the crime is to keep a lookout and hear for loud random angle grinding noises. Most thieves target during the night so hearing a loud continuous noise at night is highly unlikely that it is a builder working on a nearby property. If a crime is taking place, taking pictures of the offender and their vehicle number registration plate can help the police to track and trace the offender.