Catalysts are a hot target for thieves. How NC is trying to curb theft

RALEIGH, NC (WNCN) – Catalytic converters are often an overlooked auto part, but one that is a crucial part of the exhaust system. They are also very popular with thieves.

The National Insurance Crime Bureau said North Carolina was one of the best Top five states for catalytic converter theft.

The catalytic converter under your car is like a mini bank vault with expensive precious metals that are worth a lot of money to thieves.

They are among the hottest items among car thieves. Mechanics said they are being replaced more and more frequently.

“We’ve seen an increase here since last June,” said Seth McKinney of North Hills Exxon in Raleigh.

He said thefts are particularly common “in cars that have been sitting for a while, whether in a parking lot or at home.”

Home surveillance videos show how thieves can steal converters in less than 5 minutes, even from cars parked in driveways.

Inside a converter is a honeycomb filter containing platinum, palladium and rhodium. These are expensive precious metals that react with exhaust fumes to convert them into less harmful emissions.

Consumer Reports said The current price for an ounce of platinum is $1,000. Palladium is worth over $2,300 and rhodium is over $20,000 an ounce.

According to Waste Advantage magazineFor example, the typical catalyst contains 3 to 7 grams of platinum, 2 to 7 grams of palladium and 1 to 2 grams of rhodium.

“It’s an easy target,” McKinney said. “They can make a significant amount of money that way.”

A hybrid like the Prius is particularly a target for thieves because it has two converters.

There are a few different ones anti-theft devices People buy to keep their converters safe. Some use cables, others use metal plates.

McKinney said installation under a car typically takes about an hour of work once the vehicle is on the lift.

To deter theft, North Carolina requires scrap dealers to ask for vehicle titles or documentation before purchasing a converter, so the crooks will go elsewhere to sell them.

Your auto insurance policy will play for a replacement minus the deductible, but only if you have comprehensive coverage as part of your policy. Catalysts are a hot target for thieves. How NC is trying to curb theft


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