(ModernSurvival.org) – Across the nation, Americans starting their vehicles are receiving a shock as their cars begin making strange sounds. The reason? Sneaky thieves are stealing their catalytic converters during the night. But why are these specific parts targeted, and more importantly, what can a person do to stop them from being taken?
Why Catalytic Converters?
Since 1975, vehicles that operate on gasoline or diesel must come equipped with a catalytic converter. These parts help to reduce pollution emitted by the car while it’s in use. What many people don’t know, however, is that these parts are incredibly valuable. Constructed of precious metals such as platinum, the price tag for a converter ranges from hundreds to thousands of dollars. Add this potential payday to the fact that it takes mere minutes to access and remove one, and criminals have a score too good to pass up.
The lucrative market for stolen converters seems to be heating up as well. In fact, according to the insurance company State Farm, the rate of catalytic converter theft increased by a whopping 109% from July 2021 to June 2022. With that in mind, it’s a good idea to learn how to stop these thugs in their tracks.
How to Protect Your Vehicle
When a catalytic converter is stolen, the vehicle makes loud, roaring noises and produces more smelly exhaust. If that weren’t bad enough, the cost to replace one is upwards of $3000. To avoid these issues, here are some simple steps anyone can take to protect themselves.
- Park in the garage. The harder it is for a robber to access a vehicle, the higher the chances they will seek out an easier target.
- Park in well-lit areas at night. Thieves generally dislike operating in highly visible areas, preferring to keep their activities in the dark to conceal their crimes.
- Install motion-sensor lights. For those who don’t have a garage to park their vehicles, installing motion sensor lights is a viable option. Again, if the thief has a spotlight shining on them, they’re less likely to commit a crime.
- Make the converter trackable. One of the factors that make catalytic converters attractive to criminals is the fact that they’re untraceable. To rectify this issue, one can etch their VIN or license plate number onto the converter or paint it so that the part is immediately recognizable.
- Install an anti-theft device. There are options available on the market, like the Catstrap that make it more difficult to steal a catalytic converter. While these won’t make it impossible, they will add enough time to the process that they might just be enough to convince a crook to move on to another target.
- Stay informed. Contact the local police department to see if catalytic converter theft is an issue in the area (and what other threats might be on the rise). Avoid areas with higher rates of theft as much as possible.
As always, preparation is the best way to avoid becoming a victim. Taking proactive action and staying up to date on criminal trends can significantly reduce the odds of becoming a target. For more information on how to defend oneself from potential criminals, take a peek at our article explaining how to secure your home.
~Here’s to Your Survival!
Copyright 2023, ModernSurvival.org