Criminals targeting catalytic converters for precious metals
Catalytic converters are part of a vehicle's exhaust system and are used to reduce the amount of hazardous emissions from the internal combustion engine. These exhaust devices contain precious metals, such as platinum, palladium, and rhodium, which are highly valuable and sought after by criminals. The black market price for catalytic converters can exceed $1,000 depending on the type of vehicle and the state it is from.
The rising cost of these precious metals and the relative ease at which catalytic converters can be stolen has led to an increase in theft of these devices. Additionally, catalytic converters often lack unique serial numbers or other distinctive identification features, making them difficult to trace to their lawful owners. This has made them attractive targets for criminals who can then sell them to scrapyards or metal recycling companies for a profit.
In response to this crime wave, the U.S. Department of Justice, along with state and local law enforcement partners, have taken action to combat this theft. In a nationwide coordinated takedown, 21 individuals in five states were arrested and/or charged for their roles in the theft of catalytic converters. In addition, 32 search warrants were executed and millions of dollars in assets were seized.
To prevent catalytic converter theft, we recommend that car owners take precautions such as parking their vehicles in well-lit and highly visible areas and installing motion-activated lights or cameras around the parking area. Additionally, the National Insurance Crime Bureau recommends having an anti-theft device installed in the vehicle.
We hope this information was helpful.