Thefts of catalytic converters are on the rise. This part of your vehicle’s exhaust system contains valuable metals and can be removed in less than two minutes. Once stolen, it can cost thousands of dollars to replace. This crime affects commercial and personal vehicles.
What can I do to protect my fleet of commercial trucks?
- If your trucks sit high off the ground, consider obstructing access by parking lower vehicles close by.
- Consider installing a License Plate Reader (LPR) device on your property where fleets are stored to capture tag numbers of any vehicles that drive in or out.
- Look into getting motion-activated dash cameras to monitor your fleet vehicles at night. This can be an inexpensive but very successful tool.
What can I do to prevent having the catalytic converter stolen from my personal vehicle?
- Access is key. Make it as difficult as possible to get to the underside of your car or truck.
- In a residential area, park in a garage if your home has one. If not, park in well-lit areas. Install motion-sensing lights around your home.
- Install a protective plate or cage that covers your catalytic converter, or another protection device.
- Etch your vehicle's VIN number on the catalytic converter so that if it is stolen, it can be returned. It can also help police track and identify thieves. You can also consider painting the converter a bright color to make it easily identifiable and less appealing to thieves.
- Speak to your car dealership about a tilt sensor that activates the alarm if someone tries to jack up your vehicle.
- Whenever possible, back into parking spots close to fences, walls or curbs to reduce access under your vehicle.
- Remember that hybrids, like the Toyota Prius, are at particular risk, because their catalytic converters contain a higher concentration of precious metals. Trucks and SUVs that have higher ground clearance may also be targeted.
If your catalytic converter has been stolen, please report it to police. You can call the non-emergency number at 410-313-2200 or 911 if the theft is in progress.