As automotive technology has advanced, so too have theft methods. One of the latest trends is the theft of catalytic converters. In recent news, a nighttime thief in Palm Dale was killed while attempting to steal the exhaust device from a parked Ford Excursion with the occupant inside. In a panic, the woman driving the vehicle reversed and, unfortunately, ran over the undercarriage assailant, killing him.
This tragic incident highlights the severity of the catalytic converter theft problem in the United States. According to recent reports, the rate of catalytic converter theft has witnessed an extreme uptick. This is due to the increasing demand for precious metals such as platinum, palladium, and rhodium, which are used in most car converter shell bodies.
Why are People Stealing Catalytic Converters?
Criminals target these devices because they can be easily removed from vehicles and sold to scrap yards for a quick profit. The theft happens fast and can occur at any time of day or night. Removing a catalytic converter piece from your car's undercarriage takes only minutes. Crooks can make up to a few hundred dollars off one converter. Collecting a handful of converters in one night could mean thousands of dollars for a single thief or a team. This leaves car owners with expensive repair bills for a stolen car part that can take months to receive from your local auto shop.
Is Stealing a Catalytic Converter Worth The Money and Risk?
The risk being run over or confronted by an armed car owner is not worth a few hundred dollars. In trying times, the unpredictable can happen in attempted robberies, and lives have been lost. Not only do you risk bodily harm or death when trying to steal a catalytic converter, but in most states, you could face prison time. Stealing a catalytic converter is a felony in places like Texas. Offenders in places like California can face hefty fines and or jail time with being charged with grand theft if the car part is worth over $950.
Avoiding Catalytic Converter Theft
To protect your car from catalytic converter theft, there are several steps you can take. The most effective way to prevent theft is by installing a catalytic converter security shield guard. These guards are designed to prevent thieves from accessing the catalytic converter and can be easily installed by a professional in less than a few hours.
Additionally, parking your car in a secure location, such as a garage, can help deter thieves. If you must park on the street, try to park in a well-lit area near a security camera. The camera won't initially stop the crime, but if you're lucky, you may be able to catch a description of the getaway car or perpetrator.
It's also important to be aware of the signs of catalytic converter theft. These include a loud exhaust noise, a decrease in your car's performance, foul exhaust odors, and a sudden increase in your car's fuel consumption. If you notice these signs, have your car inspected by a professional as soon as possible. You can also visually look beneath your undercarriage. If you see dangling exhaust pipes and a likely gap between two metal pipes, you've just been victimized.
Don't Engage with Crooks. Prevent Catalytic Converter Theft with a Cat Shield
The rise in catalytic converter thefts in the United States is a continuously growing problem. However, by taking the necessary precautions, such as installing a security shield guard and being aware of the signs of theft, you can protect your car and prevent becoming a victim of this crime. If you happen to wake up to the screeching saw blade sounds of your converter being cut, refrain from engaging physically with the thief. Call authorities and stay inside your home for your own safety.
Shopping online for a durable catalytic converter shield? We have a wide range of undercarriage protection for all types of vehicles. If you have any questions or don't see an available shield guard for your vehicle, sign up to get on our waiting list. We're ready to answer your questions, and our expert team will contact you as soon as your shield guard is available for purchase.