September 2021 STOMP
Safety Topic of the Month
Catalytic Converter Theft Awareness and Prevention
What is a catalytic converter?
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.
Weak Point For Cutting
How is it stolen?
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.
Other Weak Point For Cutting
How can I prevent my catalytic converter from being stolen?
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.