Since 2020, catalytic converter theft has been on the rise, with thieves targeting trucks, SUVs, and cars to steal their valuable exhaust components. A plan to curve the growing criminal element was formulated locally, and federally,
and new legislation has passed. People who get caught stealing and reselling stolen catalytic converters can now face felony charges that can place perpetrators in 10-months to 2 years of prison and up to $10,000 in fines in most states.
Are New Catalytic Converter Theft Penalties Working?
These new catalytic converter regulations require scrapyards and recycling facilities to document and verify the origins of catalytic bodies brought in for sale. This makes it more challenging for thieves to offload stolen converters, as they are now subject to increased scrutiny. Additionally, law enforcement agencies have been actively investigating and dismantling catalytic converter theft rings, leading to the arrest and prosecution of those involved in such criminal activities. Some crime rings have collected over millions of dollars in stolen cats.
Nearing the tail end of 2023, there already has been a notable decrease in catalytic converter theft compared to the spike in such crimes that occurred post-2020. This decline can be attributed to several factors, including U.S. legislation cracking down on catalytic converter crime and theft rings.
Public Awareness on The Rise of Catalytic Converter Crimes
Like Covid-19, catalytic converter thefts spread at an alarming rate. With people staying home, vehicles sat alone and vulnerable. Scrap metal and precious metal thieves took the opportunity to steal car, truck, and SUV catalytic converters for the expensive metals located within the inside of the catalytic converter body. Metals that resale for hundreds like platinum, rhodium, and palladium.
Thanks to social media and local news stations broadcasting stories and stats concerning the countrywide phenomena, increased public awareness also played a significant role in decreasing this alarming trend. As news of these thefts spread and stories of victims' experiences became more widely known, car owners have become more vigilant. Many have taken proactive measures to protect their vehicles, further discouraging potential thieves.
We're Not Out of The Woods Yet!
Like any other society, there will always be an element of crime lingering around the corner. While the decline in catalytic converter thefts is promising, it's essential for car owners to understand that the risk hasn't entirely disappeared from your neighborhood streets. Thieves can, and will target parked vehicles, as well as certain makes and models that remain attractive due to the precious metals within their converters. Whether it's in your home driveway, or at your local movie theater, a team of thieves can take off with your catalytic converter in a matter of minutes.
Protecting Your Car, Truck, or SUV from Catalytic Converter Theft
One effective and straightforward way to safeguard your vehicle's catalytic converter is by installing a catalytic converter shield guard. These metallic undercarriage guards are specially designed to attach securely to the undercarriage of your Ford F-150 truck, Toyota Prius, or Toyota FJ Cruiser SUV. Unlike catalytic converter theft alarms and locks, these shield guards offer full body protection from saws and cutting tools.