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California Catalytic Converter Thefts: What you should know

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There has been a lot of coverage of the increased number of catalytic converter thefts in California. California topped the list in 2021, and its lead has only grown over the course of this year. So it’s time you had a good picture of what’s happening.

Basically, catalytic converter thefts from driveways have reached epidemic proportions. Consequently, as widely reported in the media, thefts have begun to happen during the day. All things considered, let’s look into this matter further and learn more about the catalytic converter and its theft, especially in California.

As a matter of fact, thieves see catalytic converters as a “low-hanging fruit.” In other words, something they can easily steal and sell for hundreds of dollars. Significantly, every car, truck, and SUV produced after 1974 has a catalytic converter installed. After all, using a jack and an angle grinder, thieves can remove catalytic converters from a car in a matter of minutes. As a matter of fact, they will profit from the valuable metals a catalytic converter contains.¬†

Does insurance cover catalytic converter theft in California

By all means, theft of catalytic converters is not an undetected crime. A loud sputtering, teeth-grinding sound greets you as you start the engine after spending the night parked on the street, and exhaust fumes fill the air. Unquestionably, it is a painfully familiar picture for those victims of catalytic converter theft.

Catalytic Converter Theft Statistics in California

As a matter of fact, catalytic converter theft complaints are increasing throughout the country. In addition, there were 1203 thefts recorded each month in 2020, a significant rise from the 282 thefts reported each month in 2019. As has been noted, in 2020, California ranked in the top five states for catalytic converter theft. 

Catalytic converter theft complaints are increasing in California

Catalytic Converters: What are they, and what do they do?

Catalytic converters are widely used to transform hazardous exhaust from an engine into less dangerous gas.

These devices, found beneath cars, have platinum, palladium, or rhodium, precious metals that, according to the agency, can be sold for hundreds of dollars. The cost of these metals is skyrocketing and that is why people steal catalytic converters. 

Cars targeted in California for Catalytic Converters theft

Compared to other cars, some are more likely to have their catalytic converters stolen. 

We have compiled a list of the most targeted cars in California below:

  • Toyota Prius
  • Ford F-Series
  • Honda Accord
  • Ford Econoline¬†
  • Chevrolet Silverado
  • Subaru Outback¬†
  • Jeep Patriot
  • Honda Element
  • Subaru Forester
  • Toyota Tacoma

Steps to prevent Catalytic Converter theft

Victims often bear a disproportionate share of the financial burden caused by this brazen crime. Many people have to take time off work, have trouble getting where they need to go and spend anything from $1,000 to $3,000 to fix their cars.

Car owners can take several preventative steps to stop the theft of their converters.

Park your car in a well-lit garage 

Install security lights with motion sensors if you can. Although it may not guarantee security, it can dissuade burglars. If you can, you should also place an alarm on your car, whether you park it on the street or in a garage.

Take necessary steps to prevent catalytic converter thefts in California.

License Number inscribed on Catalytic Converter

Inscribe your license number on the catalytic converter. It will be simpler for police to locate your catalytic converter if it has your license plate number. In addition, according to the insurance company, robbers may notice the engraving and switch to a simpler target.

Cover your catalytic converters in paint

Painting your equipment can help keep criminals away. 

Install anti-theft system

There are several anti-theft catalytic converter kits on the market that can increase the security of your car.

Laws in California against Catalytic Converter thefts

California has passed AB 1653. This lets a CHP Taskforce help with theft investigations of catalytic converters.

The bill has been signed into law to bring more criminals to justice.¬†But people who work for the police say that this law won’t stop thefts.¬†

To make things better, California needs to develop a way for car owners to put ID numbers on their catalytic converters that match the VIN number and store that information in a DMV database. At the moment, an officer can’t prove that a converter was stolen if they don’t catch the thief in the act.

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