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In 2022, thefts nationwide were 540% higher than all of 2020! Thieves are slipping under cars to swipe catalytic converters, those pollution-control gadgets that contain precious metals that are in growing demand because of car emissions rules.
Catalytic converters are located between the engine and the muffler. They cut down on the harmful chemicals emitted by vehicles. They contain high-value precious metals. The value of these metals per ounce has skyrocketed and is averaging: rhodium: $11,000; palladium: $1,443; platinum: $975.
Thieves tend to target large pick-ups and delivery vehicles that have higher clearance, making it easier to remove the catalytic converter. It takes less than 90 seconds to cut that thing from the vehicle, especially if it’s unprotected.
We had a customer who had their catalytic converter stolen in the Safeway parking lot while they were in the store shopping! It happens that quickly.
Hybrids are another major target because they have two catalytic converters and the converters tend to have less corrosion, making them more valuable.
CarFax found that the 10 vehicles most likely to be targeted nationwide were:
1985-2021 Ford F-Series
1989-2020 Honda Accord
2007-17 Jeep Patriot
1999-2021 Chevrolet Silverado
1990-2022 Ford Econoline
2007-21 Jeep Compass
1993-2020 Nissan Altima
2008-14 Dodge Avenger
2011-17 Chrysler 200
2011-19 Chevrolet Cruze