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How to prevent catalytic converter thefts

Published: May. 10, 2022 at 7:52 AM PDT
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OREGON (KPTV) - The National Insurance Crime Bureau said the number of reports to insurance companies for catalytic converter thefts has risen more than 900% from 2018 to 2020.

It’s such a problem that Oregon and Washington have both made moves to ban the sale of catalytic converter to scrap metal dealers without the proper documentation.

But there are things you can do to try and protect your catalytic convertor from being stolen. Emilie Voss, with Carfax spoke to FOX 12 about what you can do to prevent a theft.

If parking in a garage overnight isn’t doable, park in a well-lit area. If you have a car port or driveway, install a motion sensored light.

Also, install a catalytic converter anti-theft device. There are a few options from an alarm device to a lock. They can range in price from $30 to a few hundred dollars.

While that’s money you may want not want to spend, it can cost thousands of dollars to replace a catalytic converter if yours gets stolen.

“There’s surveillance video from around the country of just brazen thefts, where they’ll do it in the middle of the daylight. Just slide under a car, cut it off and walk away,” said Voss. “So it is really about awareness of where you’re parking, and also the anti-theft devices, is a great option is if you happen to have one of those more targeted vehicles.”

According to Carfax, the most commonly targeted car in the West is a Toyota Prius. Next is the Ford F Series trucks, which are also high on the nationwide list.

Emilie said the most common vehicles have to do mostly with the most common cars of a region, but she said vehicles that are higher off the ground are generally easier for thieves to target because they can get under the car quicker and easier.