Rise in Catalytic Converter Theft Prompts Anti-Theft Converter Program

0
1228
Staff from the city of Laguna Beach, the Laguna Beach Police Department and the Automotive Technology Department at Saddleback College recently hosted an anti-theft catalytic converter program to educate the public on how to avoid potential theft. A second event is in the works. Photo/Bill Brooks

An automobile’s catalytic converter reduces harmful emissions in exhaust gases and burns them up, and improves a vehicle’s efficiency. Three types of precious metals are found in a catalytic converter: rhodium, palladium, and platinum, so catalytic converters sold to a metal recycling plant are worth more than $200 a piece, making them valuable to steal.

A thief can quickly jack up a car, crawl under it with a cordless reciprocating saw, and remove the catalytic converter in less than 30 seconds. Replacing a stolen catalytic converter can cost the vehicle owner between $500 and $2,500 dollars. When a thief is caught with catalytic converters, there is no way to prove where the converter came from and if it was stolen.

To mitigate this, the Laguna Beach Police Department offered a program to residents earlier this month to have their vehicle license plate etched on the catalytic converter. The event was a joint venture between the city of Laguna Beach, the Laguna Beach Police Department and the Automotive Technology Department at Saddleback College. The police department hopes that when a thief sees a catalytic converter that is identified, they won’t take it. If they do, there is now a way to identify stolen property.

The Laguna Beach Police Department offered a program to residents earlier this month to have their vehicle license plate etched on the catalytic converter. Photo/Bill Brooks

Catalytic converter theft is a growing problem in Orange County, and Laguna Beach is the first south Orange County city to develop an anti-theft converter program. The recent event was so successful the police department plans to offer another in the future. Several residents who had their converters stolen were present to try to prevent it from happening again. Saddleback students and staff also checked tire air pressure and added air where it was needed.

Share this:

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here