What is a
The catalytic converter
is pictured to the left. It converts harmful pollutants into less harmful
emissions. The catalytic converter is stolen and sold for the expensive metals
it contains, such as platinum, palladium, rhodium, or gold. Thieves can sell
one from about $50 to anywhere up to $800 in some cases, but it costs up to
$2,000 for the owner to replace it.
How is it
Thieves use handheld electric tools to cut through pipes or remove bolts, which
often takes less than 2 minutes. The most common type vehicle to be targeted in
this theft is vehicles with high clearance, such as trucks, SUVs and buses.
The number one vehicle targeted is the Toyota Prius because it is a hybrid and
has the largest amount of expensive metals in its catalytic converter.
How can I prevent my catalytic converter from being
· Install a metal cover over parts of (such as thin
connecting pipes which are easier to cut), or over the entire converter.
· Have an identifying number etched
onto the converter, such as the vehicle’s VIN.
· Weld the bolt heads attaching the
converter, or sheer off the heads.
· Park in a well-lit area with high
pedestrian traffic or cameras in the area, or in a parking structure.
· Report suspicious behavior or
vehicles in the parking lots. You can report by phone, emergency blue phone, or
the Lobo Guardian App on your phone. Do not delay reporting. Police can
identify and catch people searching out targets for theft.
UNM had 6
catalytic converters stolen off vehicles in 2020, but there are already 17
stolen in 2021 to date. ABQ Metro reported 338 catalytic converters stolen in
2020, and Nationwide the amount was 14,433.