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Philadelphia Catalytic Converter Crime Ring Caught: City Sees Steep Decline in Auto Part Theft

November 1st, 2023

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In recent news, a notorious crime ring inside a northeastern Philadelphia auto repair shop was busted with millions of dollars worth of stolen catalytic converters. The organized theft ring worked out of a Bucks County auto body and towing shop where they would take the expensive exhaust devices from their customer's vehicles and then later report them stolen to the customers. This method of insider organized thievery worked for several years until the ring of cat thieves was busted in the summer of 2023.

Over three years, Philadelphia law enforcement and the FBI monitored and surveilled the car towing business known as TDI towing, which was based out of Northeast Philadelphia. With thousands of hours of secret surveillance video, records of monetary transactions, secret informants, and even a high-speed car chase, the network of thieves working under the guise of the towing company were arrested and prosecuted.

At the end of it all, authorities discovered that the Philadelphia catalytic converter crime ring stole over several thousand car catalytic converters and raked in millions of dollars. The kingpin behind the operation was said to spend up to $10,000 a night on stolen catalytic converters.

Philadelphia Sees Catalytic Converter Crimes Decrease after Huge Bust

Since this particular illegal trade bust, the city of Philadelphia has seen a steep decrease in catalytic converter thefts. After this catalytic converter bust, one of the largest illegal auto parts operations in U.S. history, there was also a noticeable drop in catalytic converter thefts.

Philadelphia crime has fluctuated in recent years, but as of 2023, it has witnessed a drop in murders and homicides as well as all-around crime. Since the Bucks County massive towing and secret cat theft operation was exposed, there has been a drastic decline in stolen catalytic converters in the area. Reports indicate that the shamed TDI towing company may have accounted for up to 63% of the catalytic converter thefts in Philadelphia for the last several years.

Best Catalytic Converter Theft Protection for your Vehicle

Some of the main vehicles targeted by this notorious Philadelphia crime ring were the everyday family SUV, pickup truck, or hybrid vehicle. When protecting your car's catalytic converter from the common thief or an organized crime ring, the theft stops with a reliable and durable undercarriage shield guard. Whether you drive a family truck like the F-150 by Ford, a Toyota Prius hybrid model, or a crossover SUV like the Honda CR-V, undercarriage plates are a key device to install for guarding your catalytic converter.

Because your car's catalytic converter holds several expensive metals like palladium, rhodium, and platinum, the open-air exhaust part that hangs beneath your undercarriage can easily be swiped with a portable hacksaw. In just minutes, a team of thieves can lift one side of your car and detach the catalytic converter. The metallic plate shield is specifically designed to allow airflow while reducing drag created beneath your car. Car owners can block access to their catalytic converter by making it impenetrable to a saw.