If you have been victimized of a stolen catalytic converter, you are not alone.
Criminals continue to go after people’s cars, stealing their catalytic converter across many cities and suburbs and its because they hold such a high value.
Catalytic converters are piece under the car that helps the exhaust system filer out pollutants. All it takes is for your car to be parked and for someone to slide under the car using a metal tool cutter and then within seconds, they can your catalytic converter.
“One the side of the roads, parking lots, mall parking lots, usually places where there are no cameras, not well lit and very accessible to the public,” Cpl. Michel Eckerd said.
Catalytic converters contain expensive precious metals like rhodium, platinum, palladium and sometimes even gold.
Thieves can sell your catalytic converter and get anywhere from $50 to $300 if they sell the converters to scrapyards. Depending on the car, a new catalytic converter can cost around $2,000.
In Philadelphia, police reported more than 3,400 catalytic converter thefts last year. Earlier this month, authorities said a Philly block captain was shot when he tried to stop crooks from stealing a neighbor’s catalytic converter.
I myself (the author of this article), have been victimized of a stolen catalytic converter just four weeks ago. I was borrowing my friend’s 2004 Honda Accord and parked the car at 52nd and Locust in West Philadelphia overnight.
The following morning, I went to cut the car on and the car made a loud roar, a noise that sounded louder than a motorcycle. When I moved the car up, I noticed a metal pipe that was laying right where the car was parked. The metal pipe was freshly cut from underneath the car, allowing the thief to get access to the catalytic converter.
Anthony Campanella, a mechanic at Paul Campanella’s Auto and Tire Center, said he’s seen vehicles get catalytic converters replaced or fixed and stolen almost immediately afterwards.
Experts say the most commonly targeted vehicles for catalytic converter thefts are Honda Accords, Toyota Priuses and pick up trucks.