Auto experts discuss increasing catalytic converter thefts

Thefts of catalytic converters are on the rise, according to several community associations.The converters contain precious metal that fetches anywhere from $500 to $1,000.Experts said thieves have found the converters more valuable than items left inside of cars. They are underneath the vehicle and it can take as little as five minutes to steal. Reciprocating saws are the latest tools thieves use to steal the converters.The catalytic converter filters exhaust through a honeycomb made of metals, such as palladium. It can sell for more than $2,500 an ounce.Vehicle owners don’t even realize they’ve been hit until they take their vehicle to a mechanic to find out why it sounds so loud.”We’ve had a lot of vehicles coming in recently, especially vehicles like vans and trucks that sit up higher. Thieves are able to slide under the vehicle and use a tool to cut the catalytic converters out,” Tim’s Automotive auto technician Tyler Caruso said.Police don’t keep separate stats on stolen converters, but several city community associations report an increase in thefts.Toby Frevert, of Canton, said his roommate recently lost his converter to thieves.”It’s always a little worrisome. Obviously, auto repairs aren’t cheap and that’s a cost often the car owner has to front themselves,” Frevert said.And not all insurance companies cover the entire cost. Repairs run anywhere from $1,500 to $4,000, depending on the make of the vehicle and how much other damage the thief caused to the vehicle.”There’s multiple sensors throughout the exhaust to measure exhaust gases and temperatures. In this particular case, they also cut the sensor out as well, so it is not only an expense for the converter itself, but also sensors,” Caruso said.To make matters worse, replacement parts can take weeks to get. Some residents have stopped parking on the street.”Yes, I’m concerned. I park in a garage now. I don’t park in the street anymore,” Little Italy resident Rebecca Maranvill said.Other than parking in a garage, motorists can buy a strong metal fiber wrap to cover the converter, making it less desirable to steal. Experts said you can also etch your VIN number into the catalytic converter. Junkyards won’t buy the converters if they think they are stolen.

Thefts of catalytic converters are on the rise, according to several community associations.

The converters contain precious metal that fetches anywhere from $500 to $1,000.

Experts said thieves have found the converters more valuable than items left inside of cars. They are underneath the vehicle and it can take as little as five minutes to steal.

Reciprocating saws are the latest tools thieves use to steal the converters.

The catalytic converter filters exhaust through a honeycomb made of metals, such as palladium. It can sell for more than $2,500 an ounce.

Vehicle owners don’t even realize they’ve been hit until they take their vehicle to a mechanic to find out why it sounds so loud.

“We’ve had a lot of vehicles coming in recently, especially vehicles like vans and trucks that sit up higher. Thieves are able to slide under the vehicle and use a tool to cut the catalytic converters out,” Tim’s Automotive auto technician Tyler Caruso said.

Police don’t keep separate stats on stolen converters, but several city community associations report an increase in thefts.

Toby Frevert, of Canton, said his roommate recently lost his converter to thieves.

“It’s always a little worrisome. Obviously, auto repairs aren’t cheap and that’s a cost often the car owner has to front themselves,” Frevert said.

And not all insurance companies cover the entire cost. Repairs run anywhere from $1,500 to $4,000, depending on the make of the vehicle and how much other damage the thief caused to the vehicle.

“There’s multiple sensors throughout the exhaust to measure exhaust gases and temperatures. In this particular case, they also cut the sensor out as well, so it is not only an expense for the converter itself, but also sensors,” Caruso said.

To make matters worse, replacement parts can take weeks to get. Some residents have stopped parking on the street.

“Yes, I’m concerned. I park in a garage now. I don’t park in the street anymore,” Little Italy resident Rebecca Maranvill said.

Other than parking in a garage, motorists can buy a strong metal fiber wrap to cover the converter, making it less desirable to steal.

Experts said you can also etch your VIN number into the catalytic converter. Junkyards won’t buy the converters if they think they are stolen.

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