Catalytic converter theft prevention?

Questions on how we spend our money and our time - consumer goods and services, home and vehicle, leisure and recreational activities
User avatar
Topic Author
JAZZISCOOL
Posts: 2397
Joined: Sat May 18, 2019 11:49 am
Location: Colorado - 5,700 ft.

Catalytic converter theft prevention?

Post by JAZZISCOOL »

Hello BH's:

Is there a general consensus on ways to prevent catalytic converter theft on vehicles (other than the obvious e.g. parking in a home garage)? I have heard about "cages" and etching but was wondering if anyone has any experience with this. I didn't see a recent thread on this.

Criminals with portable saws are becoming more brazen even during the daylight and in places like grocery store parking lots.

A friend just had a catalytic converter theft on a diesel today. Minimum cost will be $8,500 to replace it. Insurance agent was contacted and it seems they may total the vehicle. :shock:

TIA.
Marseille07
Posts: 13426
Joined: Fri Nov 06, 2020 12:41 pm

Re: Catalytic converter theft prevention?

Post by Marseille07 »

An attached garage is the best defense. Short of that, a CAT shield. I do not believe etching or coloring does anything to deter the thieves. When they're ready for action and find a bright orange CAT, I don't think they'll stop and go away.
95% US & FM (5% seed) | 5% CCE
User avatar
Topic Author
JAZZISCOOL
Posts: 2397
Joined: Sat May 18, 2019 11:49 am
Location: Colorado - 5,700 ft.

Re: Catalytic converter theft prevention?

Post by JAZZISCOOL »

Marseille07 wrote: Fri Mar 10, 2023 5:48 pm An attached garage is the best defense. Short of that, a CAT shield. I do not believe etching or coloring does anything to deter the thieves. When they're ready for action and find a bright orange CAT, I don't think they'll stop and go away.
Thanks.
bradinsky
Posts: 1612
Joined: Sat Jul 21, 2018 6:32 am
Location: Ohio

Re: Catalytic converter theft prevention?

Post by bradinsky »

The lower the vehicle sits, the harder it is for some lowlife to steal your catalytic converter. Reciprocating saws are great, but someone did the driving public a disservice by making them battery powered. Etching a D/L or SS number on the converter only keeps the honest scrapyards from dealing with the crook. That still leaves plenty of others willing to buy it.
OldSport
Posts: 1088
Joined: Tue Jul 25, 2017 7:01 pm

Re: Catalytic converter theft prevention?

Post by OldSport »

JAZZISCOOL wrote: Fri Mar 10, 2023 5:44 pm Hello BH's:

Is there a general consensus on ways to prevent catalytic converter theft on vehicles (other than the obvious e.g. parking in a home garage)? I have heard about "cages" and etching but was wondering if anyone has any experience with this. I didn't see a recent thread on this.

Criminals with portable saws are becoming more brazen even during the daylight and in places like grocery store parking lots.

A friend just had a catalytic converter theft on a diesel today. Minimum cost will be $8,500 to replace it. Insurance agent was contacted and it seems they may total the vehicle. :shock:

TIA.
Where do you live? How big of an issue has this become? Grocery store parking lots during the daylight should have lots of people coming and going to deter such activity. At night with less traffic, could see it being more an issue.

Electric vehicles do not have these parts since there is no ICE.
OldSport
Posts: 1088
Joined: Tue Jul 25, 2017 7:01 pm

Re: Catalytic converter theft prevention?

Post by OldSport »

bradinsky wrote: Fri Mar 10, 2023 6:21 pm The lower the vehicle sits, the harder it is for some lowlife to steal your catalytic converter. Reciprocating saws are great, but someone did the driving public a disservice by making them battery powered. Etching a D/L or SS number on the converter only keeps the honest scrapyards from dealing with the crook. That still leaves plenty of others willing to buy it.
I think it's supposed to be the VIN # to tie it back to its original vehicle. Would not put SS on that. There are anti-theft cages too, but they can cause drag and road noise. I read trucks, sports cars, and Toyota Prius (??) are targets when this type of thing happens.
bradinsky
Posts: 1612
Joined: Sat Jul 21, 2018 6:32 am
Location: Ohio

Re: Catalytic converter theft prevention?

Post by bradinsky »

OldSport wrote: Fri Mar 10, 2023 6:53 pm
bradinsky wrote: Fri Mar 10, 2023 6:21 pm The lower the vehicle sits, the harder it is for some lowlife to steal your catalytic converter. Reciprocating saws are great, but someone did the driving public a disservice by making them battery powered. Etching a D/L or SS number on the converter only keeps the honest scrapyards from dealing with the crook. That still leaves plenty of others willing to buy it.
I think it's supposed to be the VIN # to tie it back to its original vehicle. Would not put SS on that. There are anti-theft cages too, but they can cause drag and road noise. I read trucks, sports cars, and Toyota Prius (??) are targets when this type of thing happens.
The VIN makes absolute sense. Thanks for the correction! Even with that, only some of the scrapyards will pay attention to that number.
User avatar
tyrion
Posts: 1368
Joined: Fri Feb 08, 2008 2:33 pm

Re: Catalytic converter theft prevention?

Post by tyrion »

We have a 2nd generation Prius which is one of the prime targets. Liability only insurance and we live in an area with frequent theft (according to Nextdoor and the Toyota dealer). Bought a cat shield a few years ago and no problems so far. We bought the enhanced version with additional side protection.

Unfortunately there is no similar option for the other car we park outside. And yes we do use our garage for 2 cars already. They sell a cable wrap that is supposed to be universal but I haven't decided whether it's worth it or not. The other car is insured so if the catalytic converter is stolen at least we have some recourse.
chinchin
Posts: 478
Joined: Tue Nov 14, 2017 7:02 pm

Re: Catalytic converter theft prevention?

Post by chinchin »

Electric vehicles don’t have catalytic converters.
not financial advice
User avatar
Gort
Posts: 887
Joined: Sat Mar 17, 2007 5:07 pm
Location: Idaho

Re: Catalytic converter theft prevention?

Post by Gort »

chinchin wrote: Fri Mar 10, 2023 7:36 pm Electric vehicles don’t have catalytic converters.
Nor do bicycles.
chinchin
Posts: 478
Joined: Tue Nov 14, 2017 7:02 pm

Re: Catalytic converter theft prevention?

Post by chinchin »

Gort wrote: Fri Mar 10, 2023 8:51 pm
chinchin wrote: Fri Mar 10, 2023 7:36 pm Electric vehicles don’t have catalytic converters.
Nor do bicycles.
True. Personally I am considering an e-bike.
not financial advice
tnf
Posts: 124
Joined: Thu Aug 05, 2010 8:23 pm

Re: Catalytic converter theft prevention?

Post by tnf »

One month into the pandemic I had my catalytic convertor stolen when parked in a Home Depot lot. This was at 11 am, car was a 2005 CRV. I happened to be pulling my utility trailer and getting everything fixed and back on the road made for a long day. A cordless sawzall is a potent tool for these thieves, it is hard to add in secondary protection that will also withstand the saw blade.

Insurance wanted to total the vehicle but I had an estimate from Meineke ($850) for half of what insurance estimated the cost of replacement. Got it fixed that afternoon and insurance reimbursed me later that evening. I had to drive a mile or so from HD to Meineke and that was the loudest drive of my life.

If you hear an ear splitting noise from a car's exhaust, chances are their cat got stolen and they are just trying to make it back home or to a nearby shop...
Normchad
Posts: 4811
Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2011 6:20 am

Re: Catalytic converter theft prevention?

Post by Normchad »

Gort wrote: Fri Mar 10, 2023 8:51 pm
chinchin wrote: Fri Mar 10, 2023 7:36 pm Electric vehicles don’t have catalytic converters.
Nor do bicycles.
And I wouldn’t want one of these morons with a sawzall near either one of them….. A standard-issue tweeker would probably cut completely through my car searching for the non-existent catalytic converter….
ktdintex
Posts: 164
Joined: Sun Apr 04, 2021 7:42 am

Re: Catalytic converter theft prevention?

Post by ktdintex »

JAZZISCOOL wrote: Fri Mar 10, 2023 5:44 pm…A friend just had a catalytic converter theft on a diesel today. Minimum cost will be $8,500 to replace it. Insurance agent was contacted and it seems they may total the vehicle. :shock:

TIA.
Diesels don’t have a catalytic converter. They do have a diesel particular filter (DPF), which serves a similar purpose.

If you’re worried about catalytic converter theft, the first thing I would do is look under your car for the converter and see how accessible it is. On some vehicles, like a Jeep Wrangler, it’s extremely difficult to reach the engine side of the converter, so thieves don’t bother with Wranglers.

If you don’t fall into that category, the best and easiest device to install I’ve seen is a steel cable contraption that goes around the converter. It makes it very difficult for a reciprocating saw to cut through.
User avatar
Topic Author
JAZZISCOOL
Posts: 2397
Joined: Sat May 18, 2019 11:49 am
Location: Colorado - 5,700 ft.

Re: Catalytic converter theft prevention?

Post by JAZZISCOOL »

ktdintex wrote: Fri Mar 10, 2023 9:15 pm
JAZZISCOOL wrote: Fri Mar 10, 2023 5:44 pm…A friend just had a catalytic converter theft on a diesel today. Minimum cost will be $8,500 to replace it. Insurance agent was contacted and it seems they may total the vehicle. :shock:

TIA.
Diesels don’t have a catalytic converter. They do have a diesel particular filter (DPF), which serves a similar purpose.

If you’re worried about catalytic converter theft, the first thing I would do is look under your car for the converter and see how accessible it is. On some vehicles, like a Jeep Wrangler, it’s extremely difficult to reach the engine side of the converter, so thieves don’t bother with Wranglers.

If you don’t fall into that category, the best and easiest device to install I’ve seen is a steel cable contraption that goes around the converter. It makes it very difficult for a reciprocating saw to cut through.
Thanks.

I didn't know the part was called a DPF on a diesel, just that the low end of the estimate was $8,500. I assume it has the same rare, expensive materials that the criminals are seeking in CC's.
User avatar
Bogle7
Posts: 1929
Joined: Fri May 11, 2018 9:33 am
Location: In the Witness Protection Program

Re: Catalytic converter theft prevention?

Post by Bogle7 »

Replace your ICE vehicle with a BEV.
Old fart who does three index stock funds, baby.
runninginvestor
Posts: 1747
Joined: Tue Sep 08, 2020 8:00 pm

Re: Catalytic converter theft prevention?

Post by runninginvestor »

chinchin wrote: Fri Mar 10, 2023 8:53 pm
Gort wrote: Fri Mar 10, 2023 8:51 pm
chinchin wrote: Fri Mar 10, 2023 7:36 pm Electric vehicles don’t have catalytic converters.
Nor do bicycles.
True. Personally I am considering an e-bike.
Neither do humans. :D
midoxidil
Posts: 44
Joined: Fri Apr 16, 2021 12:18 am

Re: Catalytic converter theft prevention?

Post by midoxidil »

Place an Apple Air Tag on CC?

Move to better neighborhood?

Ignore it? CC theft as likely as an earthquake, not something to worry about on a daily basis.
User avatar
enad
Posts: 1453
Joined: Fri Aug 12, 2022 2:50 pm

Re: Catalytic converter theft prevention?

Post by enad »

There are specials on the news that discuss this and parking in a locked garage is the best. Etchings and coloring won't deter a thief or the buyer who buys a knowingly stolen converter since they will sand blast the paint and use a grinder to remove the etching. You can put a shield which might deter someone but a determined thief will have the tools to remove the shield and thanks to high power battery operated tools it won't take long
What Goes Up Must come down -- David Clayton-Thomas (1968), BST
OldSport
Posts: 1088
Joined: Tue Jul 25, 2017 7:01 pm

Re: Catalytic converter theft prevention?

Post by OldSport »

This would be a good reason to keep at least full comprehensive insurance for those with older vehicles on the fence.
User avatar
snackdog
Posts: 2264
Joined: Wed Nov 12, 2014 3:57 am

Re: Catalytic converter theft prevention?

Post by snackdog »

bradinsky wrote: Fri Mar 10, 2023 6:21 pm The lower the vehicle sits, the harder it is for some lowlife to steal your catalytic converter. ...
Yes, keep your vehicle low, especially if it is a hybrid with tons of palladium in the cat.

Image
bradinsky
Posts: 1612
Joined: Sat Jul 21, 2018 6:32 am
Location: Ohio

Re: Catalytic converter theft prevention?

Post by bradinsky »

There is currently an article on Insider.com regarding converter thefts.
“ People are getting crushed to death during alleged catalytic converter thefts, a crime on the rise that's now taking a toll on more than just cars.”

Sometimes, karma bites you in the a**. Personally, no pity if you’re that stupid or lazy!
User avatar
Topic Author
JAZZISCOOL
Posts: 2397
Joined: Sat May 18, 2019 11:49 am
Location: Colorado - 5,700 ft.

Re: Catalytic converter theft prevention?

Post by JAZZISCOOL »

OldSport wrote: Sat Mar 11, 2023 5:41 am This would be a good reason to keep at least full comprehensive insurance for those with older vehicles on the fence.
Thanks.
thedaybeforetoday
Posts: 298
Joined: Fri Sep 02, 2022 5:16 am

Re: Catalytic converter theft prevention?

Post by thedaybeforetoday »

JAZZISCOOL wrote: Fri Mar 10, 2023 5:44 pm Hello BH's:

Is there a general consensus on ways to prevent catalytic converter theft on vehicles (other than the obvious e.g. parking in a home garage)? I have heard about "cages" and etching but was wondering if anyone has any experience with this. I didn't see a recent thread on this.

Criminals with portable saws are becoming more brazen even during the daylight and in places like grocery store parking lots.

A friend just had a catalytic converter theft on a diesel today. Minimum cost will be $8,500 to replace it. Insurance agent was contacted and it seems they may total the vehicle. :shock:

TIA.
What is the frequency of this happening where you live?
"When I was a kid my parents moved a lot, but I always found them." R. Dangerfield
User avatar
Topic Author
JAZZISCOOL
Posts: 2397
Joined: Sat May 18, 2019 11:49 am
Location: Colorado - 5,700 ft.

Re: Catalytic converter theft prevention?

Post by JAZZISCOOL »

bradinsky wrote: Sat Mar 11, 2023 7:16 am There is currently an article on Insider.com regarding converter thefts.
“ People are getting crushed to death during alleged catalytic converter thefts, a crime on the rise that's now taking a toll on more than just cars.”

Sometimes, karma bites you in the a**. Personally, no pity if you’re that stupid or lazy!
Thanks, interesting.

https://www.insider.com/catalytic-conve ... ths-2023-3
User avatar
Topic Author
JAZZISCOOL
Posts: 2397
Joined: Sat May 18, 2019 11:49 am
Location: Colorado - 5,700 ft.

Re: Catalytic converter theft prevention?

Post by JAZZISCOOL »

thedaybeforetoday wrote: Sat Mar 11, 2023 8:52 am
JAZZISCOOL wrote: Fri Mar 10, 2023 5:44 pm Hello BH's:

Is there a general consensus on ways to prevent catalytic converter theft on vehicles (other than the obvious e.g. parking in a home garage)? I have heard about "cages" and etching but was wondering if anyone has any experience with this. I didn't see a recent thread on this.

Criminals with portable saws are becoming more brazen even during the daylight and in places like grocery store parking lots.

A friend just had a catalytic converter theft on a diesel today. Minimum cost will be $8,500 to replace it. Insurance agent was contacted and it seems they may total the vehicle. :shock:

TIA.
What is the frequency of this happening where you live?
I don't have stats locally but according to an article someone just posted, here is the national stat:

"Between 2018 and 2022, there has been an over 1000% increase in catalytic converter theft, per the National Insurance Crime Bureau. "

https://www.insider.com/catalytic-conve ... ths-2023-3

Both urban and more rural areas are being impacted.
User avatar
K72
Posts: 380
Joined: Wed Dec 05, 2018 7:04 pm

Re: Catalytic converter theft prevention?

Post by K72 »

Low to the ground doesn't necessarily help. Thieves use jacks. DD has a friend with a Prius who lives in SF and has had her catalytic converter stolen 6 times. Couple of months ago was on a hike along the coast (remote parking lot at the trail head) and when we came back to the lot after the hike the guy I was carpooling with was missing the catalytic converter from his Subaru.
All we want are the facts...
User avatar
Topic Author
JAZZISCOOL
Posts: 2397
Joined: Sat May 18, 2019 11:49 am
Location: Colorado - 5,700 ft.

Re: Catalytic converter theft prevention?

Post by JAZZISCOOL »

K72 wrote: Sat Mar 11, 2023 10:50 am Low to the ground doesn't necessarily help. Thieves use jacks. DD has a friend with a Prius who lives in SF and has had her catalytic converter stolen 6 times. Couple of months ago was on a hike along the coast (remote parking lot at the trail head) and when we came back to the lot after the hike the guy I was carpooling with was missing the catalytic converter from his Subaru.
Wow! 6 times is crazy. Trail heads have long been a target for crime (often "smash and grabs").
thedaybeforetoday
Posts: 298
Joined: Fri Sep 02, 2022 5:16 am

Re: Catalytic converter theft prevention?

Post by thedaybeforetoday »

JAZZISCOOL wrote: Sat Mar 11, 2023 9:25 am
thedaybeforetoday wrote: Sat Mar 11, 2023 8:52 am
JAZZISCOOL wrote: Fri Mar 10, 2023 5:44 pm Hello BH's:

Is there a general consensus on ways to prevent catalytic converter theft on vehicles (other than the obvious e.g. parking in a home garage)? I have heard about "cages" and etching but was wondering if anyone has any experience with this. I didn't see a recent thread on this.

Criminals with portable saws are becoming more brazen even during the daylight and in places like grocery store parking lots.

A friend just had a catalytic converter theft on a diesel today. Minimum cost will be $8,500 to replace it. Insurance agent was contacted and it seems they may total the vehicle. :shock:

TIA.
What is the frequency of this happening where you live?
I don't have stats locally but according to an article someone just posted, here is the national stat:

"Between 2018 and 2022, there has been an over 1000% increase in catalytic converter theft, per the National Insurance Crime Bureau. "

https://www.insider.com/catalytic-conve ... ths-2023-3

Both urban and more rural areas are being impacted.
Thanks for that article. It stated information in percentages rather than raw numbers which makes for good clickbait but not so great at informing the public, so I did a bit of digging...

According to what I could find, there were 52,000 cars that had their catalytic converter stolen in 2021 (most recent data available).
There are 209.8 million cars on the road in the US during that same time period, granted not all with catalytic converters, but a vast majority so lets say 200 million have catalytic converters:

52/200,000 = 1/3846 chance (roughly speaking) your catalytic converter will be stolen.

For perspective:

1/107=chance one will be killed in a car accident in their lifetime.
77/100=chance one will be in a car accident in their lifetime.
1/37=chance one will hit the exact number with one spin of the roulette wheel

So a passenger car owner is roughly 100 times less likely to have their catalytic converter stolen than picking one number correctly with one spin of the roulette wheel.
"When I was a kid my parents moved a lot, but I always found them." R. Dangerfield
User avatar
Topic Author
JAZZISCOOL
Posts: 2397
Joined: Sat May 18, 2019 11:49 am
Location: Colorado - 5,700 ft.

Re: Catalytic converter theft prevention?

Post by JAZZISCOOL »

thedaybeforetoday wrote: Sat Mar 11, 2023 12:06 pm
JAZZISCOOL wrote: Sat Mar 11, 2023 9:25 am
thedaybeforetoday wrote: Sat Mar 11, 2023 8:52 am
JAZZISCOOL wrote: Fri Mar 10, 2023 5:44 pm Hello BH's:

Is there a general consensus on ways to prevent catalytic converter theft on vehicles (other than the obvious e.g. parking in a home garage)? I have heard about "cages" and etching but was wondering if anyone has any experience with this. I didn't see a recent thread on this.

Criminals with portable saws are becoming more brazen even during the daylight and in places like grocery store parking lots.

A friend just had a catalytic converter theft on a diesel today. Minimum cost will be $8,500 to replace it. Insurance agent was contacted and it seems they may total the vehicle. :shock:

TIA.
What is the frequency of this happening where you live?
I don't have stats locally but according to an article someone just posted, here is the national stat:

"Between 2018 and 2022, there has been an over 1000% increase in catalytic converter theft, per the National Insurance Crime Bureau. "

https://www.insider.com/catalytic-conve ... ths-2023-3

Both urban and more rural areas are being impacted.
Thanks for that article. It stated information in percentages rather than raw numbers which makes for good clickbait but not so great at informing the public, so I did a bit of digging...

According to what I could find, there were 52,000 cars that had their catalytic converter stolen in 2021 (most recent data available).
There are 209.8 million cars on the road in the US during that same time period, granted not all with catalytic converters, but a vast majority so lets say 200 million have catalytic converters:

52/200,000 = 1/3846 chance (roughly speaking) your catalytic converter will be stolen.

For perspective:

1/107=chance one will be killed in a car accident in their lifetime.
77/100=chance one will be in a car accident in their lifetime.
1/37=chance one will hit the exact number with one spin of the roulette wheel

So a passenger car owner is roughly 100 times less likely to have their catalytic converter stolen than picking one number correctly with one spin of the roulette wheel.
Good perspective. I think when it happens to someone you know, the perception of risk is impacted. YMMV.
RubyTuesday
Posts: 2148
Joined: Fri Oct 19, 2012 11:24 am

Re: Catalytic converter theft prevention?

Post by RubyTuesday »

thedaybeforetoday wrote: Sat Mar 11, 2023 12:06 pm
JAZZISCOOL wrote: Sat Mar 11, 2023 9:25 am
thedaybeforetoday wrote: Sat Mar 11, 2023 8:52 am
JAZZISCOOL wrote: Fri Mar 10, 2023 5:44 pm Hello BH's:

Is there a general consensus on ways to prevent catalytic converter theft on vehicles (other than the obvious e.g. parking in a home garage)? I have heard about "cages" and etching but was wondering if anyone has any experience with this. I didn't see a recent thread on this.

Criminals with portable saws are becoming more brazen even during the daylight and in places like grocery store parking lots.

A friend just had a catalytic converter theft on a diesel today. Minimum cost will be $8,500 to replace it. Insurance agent was contacted and it seems they may total the vehicle. :shock:

TIA.
What is the frequency of this happening where you live?
I don't have stats locally but according to an article someone just posted, here is the national stat:

"Between 2018 and 2022, there has been an over 1000% increase in catalytic converter theft, per the National Insurance Crime Bureau. "

https://www.insider.com/catalytic-conve ... ths-2023-3

Both urban and more rural areas are being impacted.
Thanks for that article. It stated information in percentages rather than raw numbers which makes for good clickbait but not so great at informing the public, so I did a bit of digging...

According to what I could find, there were 52,000 cars that had their catalytic converter stolen in 2021 (most recent data available).
There are 209.8 million cars on the road in the US during that same time period, granted not all with catalytic converters, but a vast majority so lets say 200 million have catalytic converters:

52/200,000 = 1/3846 chance (roughly speaking) your catalytic converter will be stolen.

For perspective:

1/107=chance one will be killed in a car accident in their lifetime.
77/100=chance one will be in a car accident in their lifetime.
1/37=chance one will hit the exact number with one spin of the roulette wheel

So a passenger car owner is roughly 100 times less likely to have their catalytic converter stolen than picking one number correctly with one spin of the roulette wheel.
Deduct cars in garages, deduct diesels, deduct BEVs… national average is likely higher than your estimate.

But also, this theft is likely highly concentrated in certain areas during certain timeframes. We had probably 10 neighbors in a small neighborhood of 160 homes have their CC stolen over about a year. The thieves that took ours had professional tow truck. Lift, cut, drop in less than 3 mins at 6am in front of house. This was on a 2006 Prius in 2020.

$3800 repair covered by insurance (I was still carrying comprehensive on a 14 year old car for some reason). Surprised the insurer didn’t total the car.
“Doing nothing is better than being busy doing nothing.” – Lao Tzu
smitcat
Posts: 10657
Joined: Mon Nov 07, 2016 9:51 am

Re: Catalytic converter theft prevention?

Post by smitcat »

thedaybeforetoday wrote: Sat Mar 11, 2023 12:06 pm
JAZZISCOOL wrote: Sat Mar 11, 2023 9:25 am
thedaybeforetoday wrote: Sat Mar 11, 2023 8:52 am
JAZZISCOOL wrote: Fri Mar 10, 2023 5:44 pm Hello BH's:

Is there a general consensus on ways to prevent catalytic converter theft on vehicles (other than the obvious e.g. parking in a home garage)? I have heard about "cages" and etching but was wondering if anyone has any experience with this. I didn't see a recent thread on this.

Criminals with portable saws are becoming more brazen even during the daylight and in places like grocery store parking lots.

A friend just had a catalytic converter theft on a diesel today. Minimum cost will be $8,500 to replace it. Insurance agent was contacted and it seems they may total the vehicle. :shock:

TIA.
What is the frequency of this happening where you live?
I don't have stats locally but according to an article someone just posted, here is the national stat:

"Between 2018 and 2022, there has been an over 1000% increase in catalytic converter theft, per the National Insurance Crime Bureau. "

https://www.insider.com/catalytic-conve ... ths-2023-3

Both urban and more rural areas are being impacted.
Thanks for that article. It stated information in percentages rather than raw numbers which makes for good clickbait but not so great at informing the public, so I did a bit of digging...

According to what I could find, there were 52,000 cars that had their catalytic converter stolen in 2021 (most recent data available).
There are 209.8 million cars on the road in the US during that same time period, granted not all with catalytic converters, but a vast majority so lets say 200 million have catalytic converters:

52/200,000 = 1/3846 chance (roughly speaking) your catalytic converter will be stolen.

For perspective:

1/107=chance one will be killed in a car accident in their lifetime.
77/100=chance one will be in a car accident in their lifetime.
1/37=chance one will hit the exact number with one spin of the roulette wheel

So a passenger car owner is roughly 100 times less likely to have their catalytic converter stolen than picking one number correctly with one spin of the roulette wheel.
Except that only very specific vehicle models and years which are stored outdoors are targeted - most vehicles are not a target due to the converter type or accessibility.
Marseille07
Posts: 13426
Joined: Fri Nov 06, 2020 12:41 pm

Re: Catalytic converter theft prevention?

Post by Marseille07 »

snackdog wrote: Sat Mar 11, 2023 6:17 am Yes, keep your vehicle low, especially if it is a hybrid with tons of palladium in the cat.

Image
Does this really help? I thought the bad actors bring a portable car lift with them to the shopping mall.

How much would it cost to lower your vehicle, anyway?
95% US & FM (5% seed) | 5% CCE
thedaybeforetoday
Posts: 298
Joined: Fri Sep 02, 2022 5:16 am

Re: Catalytic converter theft prevention?

Post by thedaybeforetoday »

JAZZISCOOL wrote: Sat Mar 11, 2023 2:05 pm
thedaybeforetoday wrote: Sat Mar 11, 2023 12:06 pm
JAZZISCOOL wrote: Sat Mar 11, 2023 9:25 am
thedaybeforetoday wrote: Sat Mar 11, 2023 8:52 am
JAZZISCOOL wrote: Fri Mar 10, 2023 5:44 pm Hello BH's:

Is there a general consensus on ways to prevent catalytic converter theft on vehicles (other than the obvious e.g. parking in a home garage)? I have heard about "cages" and etching but was wondering if anyone has any experience with this. I didn't see a recent thread on this.

Criminals with portable saws are becoming more brazen even during the daylight and in places like grocery store parking lots.

A friend just had a catalytic converter theft on a diesel today. Minimum cost will be $8,500 to replace it. Insurance agent was contacted and it seems they may total the vehicle. :shock:

TIA.
What is the frequency of this happening where you live?
I don't have stats locally but according to an article someone just posted, here is the national stat:

"Between 2018 and 2022, there has been an over 1000% increase in catalytic converter theft, per the National Insurance Crime Bureau. "

https://www.insider.com/catalytic-conve ... ths-2023-3

Both urban and more rural areas are being impacted.
Thanks for that article. It stated information in percentages rather than raw numbers which makes for good clickbait but not so great at informing the public, so I did a bit of digging...

According to what I could find, there were 52,000 cars that had their catalytic converter stolen in 2021 (most recent data available).
There are 209.8 million cars on the road in the US during that same time period, granted not all with catalytic converters, but a vast majority so lets say 200 million have catalytic converters:

52/200,000 = 1/3846 chance (roughly speaking) your catalytic converter will be stolen.

For perspective:

1/107=chance one will be killed in a car accident in their lifetime.
77/100=chance one will be in a car accident in their lifetime.
1/37=chance one will hit the exact number with one spin of the roulette wheel

So a passenger car owner is roughly 100 times less likely to have their catalytic converter stolen than picking one number correctly with one spin of the roulette wheel.
Good perspective. I think when it happens to someone you know, the perception of risk is impacted. YMMV.
Agreed. Stats can help balance out emotions.
FYI: electric cars don't have catalytic converters....
"When I was a kid my parents moved a lot, but I always found them." R. Dangerfield
gator15
Posts: 568
Joined: Sun Mar 18, 2012 8:33 pm

Re: Catalytic converter theft prevention?

Post by gator15 »

On our block alone which consists of about 20 homes, we’ve had three CCs stolen in the last six months including my neighbor. I’d like to think we stay in a nice neighborhood, but it doesn’t matter. I tried to have my mechanic add a cage to my CC but he doesn’t think my CC will be targeted due to its location. I walk out to my car each morning expecting the worse. Only time will tell.
User avatar
Topic Author
JAZZISCOOL
Posts: 2397
Joined: Sat May 18, 2019 11:49 am
Location: Colorado - 5,700 ft.

Re: Catalytic converter theft prevention?

Post by JAZZISCOOL »

gator15 wrote: Sun Mar 12, 2023 3:21 pm On our block alone which consists of about 20 homes, we’ve had three CCs stolen in the last six months including my neighbor. I’d like to think we stay in a nice neighborhood, but it doesn’t matter. I tried to have my mechanic add a cage to my CC but he doesn’t think my CC will be targeted due to its location. I walk out to my car each morning expecting the worse. Only time will tell.
Sorry to hear that. In the case I mentioned from the other day, the vehicle was on the street in front of a house (no room in the garage). I wonder if manufacturers can design a fix but that's probably a long ways off. Or one could switch to electric cars as mentioned above. Unfortunate this is happening. I wonder if it will drive a person's insurance rates up since it is theft vs. an accident.
sfmdk240
Posts: 28
Joined: Sun Apr 13, 2014 12:32 pm

Re: Catalytic converter theft prevention?

Post by sfmdk240 »

I had mine stolen. once I got it replaced, I had a CatClamp https://catclamp.com/ installed by my local shop. It looks like it might be an effective deterrent, but I try not to park outside for any extended periods of time to test that theory. It also definitely transmits sounds into the car more than before. For a more low profile look that's probably quieter and allegedly effective, could also try the CatStrap https://www.catstrap.net/
User avatar
Topic Author
JAZZISCOOL
Posts: 2397
Joined: Sat May 18, 2019 11:49 am
Location: Colorado - 5,700 ft.

Re: Catalytic converter theft prevention?

Post by JAZZISCOOL »

sfmdk240 wrote: Sun Mar 12, 2023 8:58 pm I had mine stolen. once I got it replaced, I had a CatClamp https://catclamp.com/ installed by my local shop. It looks like it might be an effective deterrent, but I try not to park outside for any extended periods of time to test that theory. It also definitely transmits sounds into the car more than before. For a more low profile look that's probably quieter and allegedly effective, could also try the CatStrap https://www.catstrap.net/
Thanks!
User avatar
warner25
Posts: 743
Joined: Wed Oct 29, 2014 4:38 pm

Re: Catalytic converter theft prevention?

Post by warner25 »

OldSport wrote: Sat Mar 11, 2023 5:41 am This would be a good reason to keep at least full comprehensive insurance for those with older vehicles on the fence.
This - transferring the risk instead of preventing it - was unfortunately the best solution that I could come up with for a while.

Mine was stolen from my Gen 2 Prius in the spring of 2020, parked at Target while I went inside for ten minutes to get one item. The mechanic said mine was the third Prius he'd seen in the last two weeks at his small shop. He found a replacement that he could install the next day for $1,000, which was lucky I guess, but my insurance deductible was the maximum of $1,000 or $2,000.

Before that incident, I was getting ready to drop all but liability coverage for that car, but this actually motivated me to start paying more for a $0 deductible on comprehensive coverage, because I saw no way to prevent it from repeatedly happening again.

When we moved to a new home in another state, I decided to take my chances again with a high deductible.
blueoval9942
Posts: 29
Joined: Mon Nov 29, 2021 7:50 am

Re: Catalytic converter theft prevention?

Post by blueoval9942 »

I drive a Tundra which is high on the theft list so i bought a $400 shield. For me a big issue is the 6+ month wait for OEM cats. I did not want to be in the waiting position that long, understanding there are aftermarket solutions.

A full replacement on a Tundra is like $8500 i believe I've read....
oxothuk
Posts: 750
Joined: Thu Nov 10, 2011 7:35 pm

Re: Catalytic converter theft prevention?

Post by oxothuk »

thedaybeforetoday wrote: Sat Mar 11, 2023 6:44 pm FYI: electric cars don't have catalytic converters....
Just wait til thieves figure out how to steal EV batteries.
MadHungarian
Posts: 386
Joined: Tue Jan 02, 2018 3:53 pm

Re: Catalytic converter theft prevention?

Post by MadHungarian »

You could do it the further areas of a grocery store parking lot in broad daylight these days, and no one will even pay attention. If you're reasonably quick. And if someone does notice, the police won't even respond.
Bother, now you're all starting to worry me...
smitcat
Posts: 10657
Joined: Mon Nov 07, 2016 9:51 am

Re: Catalytic converter theft prevention?

Post by smitcat »

oxothuk wrote: Mon Mar 13, 2023 8:54 pm
thedaybeforetoday wrote: Sat Mar 11, 2023 6:44 pm FYI: electric cars don't have catalytic converters....
Just wait til thieves figure out how to steal EV batteries.
They already know how - there is just a lag putting in place the buying channels.
smitcat
Posts: 10657
Joined: Mon Nov 07, 2016 9:51 am

Re: Catalytic converter theft prevention?

Post by smitcat »

MadHungarian wrote: Mon Mar 13, 2023 9:15 pm You could do it the further areas of a grocery store parking lot in broad daylight these days, and no one will even pay attention. If you're reasonably quick. And if someone does notice, the police won't even respond.
Bother, now you're all starting to worry me...
"And if someone does notice, the police won't even respond."
That depends upon the location you are speaking about.
Greywolf
Posts: 60
Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2016 8:12 pm

Re: Catalytic converter theft prevention?

Post by Greywolf »

My son had his catalytic converter stolen off his Toyota Tacoma last year while attending a night class at a local college. According to police its a a growing problem. With a battery powered reciprocating saw it takes less than 90 seconds to saw each end of the catalytic converter to free it. He bought a custom metal shield that covers the area and had it installed. If the thief really wanted it, they could cut through the shield but it would take much longer to cut through the shield and then the pipes on each side.
He ordered his through - https://www.talonsgarage.com/
Jack FFR1846
Posts: 16503
Joined: Tue Dec 31, 2013 6:05 am
Location: 26 miles, 385 yards west of Copley Square

Re: Catalytic converter theft prevention?

Post by Jack FFR1846 »

Bogle7 wrote: Fri Mar 10, 2023 9:32 pm Replace your ICE vehicle with a BEV.
Cat $2,000

Model 3 single motor $44,000

Choices, choices.
Bogle: Smart Beta is stupid
Silverado
Posts: 1247
Joined: Fri Oct 18, 2013 6:07 pm

Re: Catalytic converter theft prevention?

Post by Silverado »

ktdintex wrote: Fri Mar 10, 2023 9:15 pm
JAZZISCOOL wrote: Fri Mar 10, 2023 5:44 pm…A friend just had a catalytic converter theft on a diesel today. Minimum cost will be $8,500 to replace it. Insurance agent was contacted and it seems they may total the vehicle. :shock:

TIA.
Diesels don’t have a catalytic converter. They do have a diesel particular filter (DPF), which serves a similar purpose.

If you’re worried about catalytic converter theft, the first thing I would do is look under your car for the converter and see how accessible it is. On some vehicles, like a Jeep Wrangler, it’s extremely difficult to reach the engine side of the converter, so thieves don’t bother with Wranglers.

If you don’t fall into that category, the best and easiest device to install I’ve seen is a steel cable contraption that goes around the converter. It makes it very difficult for a reciprocating saw to cut through.
Small correction or at least clarification. Most newer diesels, in addition to to the particulate filter (and perhaps an oxidation catalyst upstream of the filter) also have a second subsystem called SCR, which is Selective Catalytic Reduction (this is the system that uses the DEF, Diesel Emissions Fluid). These catalytic “reducers” contain all sorts of metals as well. I have no idea if they are also “fenceable”.

The DPF is about particulates, the catalytic items on both gas and diesel are about chemistry.
02nz
Posts: 9214
Joined: Wed Feb 21, 2018 2:17 pm

Re: Catalytic converter theft prevention?

Post by 02nz »

oxothuk wrote: Mon Mar 13, 2023 8:54 pm
thedaybeforetoday wrote: Sat Mar 11, 2023 6:44 pm FYI: electric cars don't have catalytic converters....
Just wait til thieves figure out how to steal EV batteries.
Thieves are looking for something that they can remove quickly and take easily with them. An EV battery is definitely not that.
CorradoJr
Posts: 273
Joined: Thu Apr 26, 2012 10:03 am

Re: Catalytic converter theft prevention?

Post by CorradoJr »

Marseille07 wrote: Sat Mar 11, 2023 2:47 pm
snackdog wrote: Sat Mar 11, 2023 6:17 am Yes, keep your vehicle low, especially if it is a hybrid with tons of palladium in the cat.

Image
Does this really help? I thought the bad actors bring a portable car lift with them to the shopping mall.

How much would it cost to lower your vehicle, anyway?
The cost on lowering springs varies - generally $150 on up. There are also coil-overs, where the amount of lowering is adjustable rather than a set height. With vehicle lowering comes some a lot of cons and some pros:

cons:
installation cost on each axle (plus an alignment)
potential for reduced ride quality (varies depending on lowering amount 10mm, 30mm, 40mm, etc.) and spring brand/quality
potential for scraping bumpers, underside of car on speed bumps, steep angles of driveways, etc.
potential for serious damage to oil pan/exhaust, etc.
potential for increased tire wear due to increased camber (unless this is corrected with additional parts)

pros:
lower center of gravity, better vehicle handling
lower to ground makes it potentially harder for a casual thief to steal the catalytic convertor
potential for increased efficiency (vehicle slightly lower to ground, more aerodynamic)
car generally looks better (subjective)
wolf359
Posts: 3012
Joined: Sun Mar 15, 2015 8:47 am

Re: Catalytic converter theft prevention?

Post by wolf359 »

RubyTuesday wrote: Sat Mar 11, 2023 2:13 pm But also, this theft is likely highly concentrated in certain areas during certain timeframes. We had probably 10 neighbors in a small neighborhood of 160 homes have their CC stolen over about a year. The thieves that took ours had professional tow truck. Lift, cut, drop in less than 3 mins at 6am in front of house. This was on a 2006 Prius in 2020.

$3800 repair covered by insurance (I was still carrying comprehensive on a 14 year old car for some reason). Surprised the insurer didn’t total the car.
They didn't total it because the replacement cost of a 2006 Prius even today is about $5700-$6,300 (according to Kelly Blue Book.)
Post Reply