How often is a catalytic converter stolen from a Ford F-250
Catalytic converter theft from a Ford F-250 is an increasingly common occurrence. The National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) has reported a staggering 1,215% increase in the theft of catalytic converters since 2019. The 1985-2021 Ford F-Series pickup truck is the most commonly targeted vehicle in the northeast, south, and midwest, making it the most likely vehicle to have its catalytic converter stolen.
The catalytic converter is a federally mandated emissions device put on gasoline-powered vehicles since 1975. Inside is a honeycomb or sieve-like pattern that typically contains three main precious metals: Platinum, rhodium, and palladium. These metals help convert dangerous carbon monoxide and nitrous gases from the exhaust into carbon dioxide via a chemical reaction. It is these precious metals that thieves want. Once they cut the “cat” out of your vehicle, they will sell it to junkyards, metal dealers, and others who might want to make a profit themselves.
The prices of these metals have shot through the roof in recent years, making catalytic converters a hot commodity for thieves. Platinum has seen a decrease in value since its peak in 2011 of around $1,700 per ounce. Palladium has risen to well over $2,000 per ounce from its $300 per ounce price in 2001. Rhodium prices have risen astronomically. It was around $1,600 per ounce in 2001, but it has since risen to an average of about $18,000 in 2021 with even higher amounts seen throughout recent years. Catalytic converter thieves can see returns of around $150 to $1500 for a catalytic converter, depending on the type of catalytic converter stolen.
Because of its popularity and the value of its catalytic converters, the Ford F-250 is a prime target for catalytic converter thieves. The F-250 is one of the most popular vehicles on the road, it has high ground clearance, and its catalytic converters contain valuable metals. These all make it a lucrative target for catalytic converter thieves. Thieves can quickly and easily access the catalytic converter on the underside of the vehicle, cut it out, and sell it for a profit.
Fortunately, there are a few things to do to prevent the theft of your own vehicle’s catalytic converter. The simplest way that car owners can discourage catalytic converter theft is to park in a well-lit parking lot, park in a well-lit driveway, or park in a garage. Not everybody has a garage, and not everybody has the money to construct a garage just to prevent theft. Security cameras and spotlights are a cheaper solution for homes without a garage. Parking in well-lit areas with security cameras will not only deter thieves but can also help law enforcement identify offenders in case the light alone does not hinder theft.
Additionally, both the federal government and state governments are beginning to increase theft penalties as well as put more laws in place that govern automotive part recyclers. One of the most prominent pieces of legislation currently in consideration is called the PART Act. PART stands for Preventing Auto Recycling Theft, and it would require that catalytic converters be stamped with the VIN associated with the vehicle on which they are equipped. It would also require strict transaction records by recyclers, an area that is currently not strictly enforced on a nationwide level.
In conclusion, catalytic converter theft from a Ford F-250 is an increasingly common occurrence. The NICB has reported a staggering 1,215% increase in the theft of catalytic converters since 2019, making the Ford F-250 a prime target for catalytic converter thieves. Its popularity, ground clearance, and the value of its catalytic converters make it a lucrative target for catalytic converter thieves. To prevent catalytic converter theft, car owners should park in a well-lit area, preferably with security cameras, and take advantage of laws that are beginning to be put in place to protect catalytic converters.
Finally, you can also consider installing a catalytic converter protection device, which is designed to make it more difficult for a thief to remove the converter.