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Catalytic Converter Theft Getting Bad
Old 06-26-2022, 06:58 AM
  #1

I don't know if catalytic converter theft is happening a lot in your areas, but it has been in mine and unfortunately, it can happen to anyone. These thieves know how to remove it fast from under the car in like 5 min.

My mom just told me a friend of her's went to the grocery store, came out, and while starting to drive off, the car md a loud screeching type sound. She called AAA, found out her catalytic converter's been stolen. Mechanic said it would tk 9-10 MONTHS, not wks, but MONTHS for the part to be in again. Her car insurance only covers a rental car for 1 month, then it's $40/DAY. She got the car rental for now, but will just hv to tk Ubers I guess for the following 8-9 mos. She found out there is something u can buy that the mechanic has to install to mk sure a thief can't steal it & it costs $400, which she'll go ahead and do, but can't be installed yet for 9-10 mos until the other part's ready. What a mess not hvg your car for about a YEAR!

At least she's an already retired teacher and doesn't substitute or do any other work, so I guess she'll be staying at home a lot more often these days!

For most vehicles, the avg cost of a catalytic converter repair is btwn $945 and $2475+ up incl parts and labor.

There's precious metals in them and I read platinum is one of them. Here's a brief video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d1OoxDe-IDg



Last edited by MAsped; 06-26-2022 at 07:15 AM..
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CAtalytic converters
Old 06-26-2022, 07:03 AM
  #2

Yes, it is really bad here. A few gangs get caught but there are many more right behind them.

My understanding is that there is something in them that is valuable (copper maybe?) that can be quickly removed and sold. And the converters take less than 5 minutes to remove.
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Old 06-26-2022, 07:07 AM
  #3

I haven’t heard about it too much in my area, but I know it’s happening in the bigger cities a few hours from me.

The parts taking that long doesn’t surprise me. I have a friend is still waiting for her car to be repaired from a crash in December, and my husband works in manufacturing and he is having issues getting parts.

Makes me think I should be proactive and get a protector installed.
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Old 06-26-2022, 07:07 AM
  #4

It used to be a huge issue here, then it died down. Now it is on the upswing again.
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Old 06-26-2022, 07:21 AM
  #5

Huge deal in our state but our state has restricted law enforcement so much that there really isn't much that can be done.

We have 4 vehicles - a car, a van, a 1/2 ton pickup and then what we call the garbage pickup since we hardly drive it except to get beauty bark and haul garbage. It's a 1990 Nissan mini pickup and when our kids took it offroad they messed up the exhaust system including the catalytic converter, so when the mechanic installed a new muffler my DH had him leave off the catalytic converter and it runs just fine. I suppose it should be the vehicle we take if we go kayaking since there's nothing to steal.


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Old 06-26-2022, 07:38 AM
  #6

Washington state here—we have the highest rate in the country! Not a record to be proud of
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Yep
Old 06-26-2022, 07:56 AM
  #7

the thefts are very bad here. The other day someone was busted and they found storage units filled with over 1,200 catalytic converters.
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Old 06-26-2022, 09:31 AM
  #8

Wow! I had no idea about this. Thank you for the information.
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Old 06-26-2022, 09:43 AM
  #9

Yep, mine was stolen earlier this year. Thieves are brazen and quick—we have a security camera pointed at our driveway and it caught them sliding under my car around 4 am. They had it out in under four minutes.

I am surprised at how long it will take to get your mom's car repaired! Is there something special about her car? Ours was fixed in less than 3 days. Also, have her check with her insurance company—ours covered the cost of the plate (?) that prevents someone from stealing it again.
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Old 06-26-2022, 10:58 AM
  #10

It's definitely happening around here. I think the repair delay is another one of those supply chain problems that are so widespread today.

If it happened to me (and I could afford it), I would seriously consider buying a car to drive while waiting for the repair--and then selling one of them. The cost of a rental is so high.


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Old 06-26-2022, 11:15 AM
  #11

Ours was stolen from the RV. The Ford place couldn’t replace it for months. We went to an independent muffler shop and they had it replaced within a week.

As soon as it was replaced we sold the RV. We were traveling less and we didn’t want to be a sitting duck and risk having it happen again. Security for storage lots isn’t great. Luckily we got a good price for the RV.
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Old 06-26-2022, 11:25 AM
  #12

pdx, thanks for your details. Glad it worked out okay for you.

I know catalytic converter theft is a big deal here because there are lots of people who park on the street or in their driveways overnight, but I thought the target was always a Prius (or other hybrid).

There is a gated garage under my condo. I have 2 spots which are tandem. Parking is usually at a premium at most beaches. One neighbor asked if he could park their extra car (they have 2 adults and 3 cars) in my spot for a few weeks. He told me a very long story about their Prius and potential catalytic converter theft and not wanting to park it on the street. I said fine (mostly to shut him up), then after 4 months I realized they had no intention of moving the car out of my space. Their car made it inconvenient for me to get to my storage cabinets, so I told them time was up. I think they still think I’m “unhelpful.”
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Seattle is #1!
Old 06-26-2022, 01:13 PM
  #13

Apparently we have more catalytic converter thefts than anywhere else! My daughter’s car and my son’s car were both targeted. Our next door neighbor’s theft was interrupted and the thieves had taken two cinder blocks from the neighbor’s wall to prop the car up on so they could go underneath. They ran away and left it like that. Each theft costs the car owner around $1000. The cops won’t come out but you can leave a voice mail message about it. It makes me so mad! They won’t criminalize the people who buy the stolen parts.
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Old 06-26-2022, 01:28 PM
  #14

Yes, it's been going strong here for a while, but it did slow down for a bit. I'm reading that June is the big month for it, though, which might explain why I've heard about it a lot more again lately.
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Old 06-26-2022, 03:15 PM
  #15

It's so bad here also, as well as car thefts in general. I had not heard that it was taking that long to replace them- I hope that's not a widespread thing! Several years ago before all of this got really bad, my car was hit while parked at my apartment complex parking lot. It was an absolute NIGHTMARE to deal with from start to finish. After that experience, my number one non-negotiable when house hunting was that it must include a garage. I'm so, so, so glad I did that now, with all of these other issues popping up!

I'm still nervous any time I have to leave the car parked somewhere outside for an extended period. The only thing that gives me slight peace of mind is that it typically isn't Subarus that are being targeted (at least not for stealing the whole car, IDK if there is any difference for the converters). I also will pay through the nose to Uber/lyft back and forth from the airport now, because car thefts from there were up like 400%. During covid, they were catching and releasing these criminals right away due to supposed "safety concerns" with the number of people in jails. Not sure what the excuse is now, but there is basically no deterrent. They know they'll be released immediately even if caught.
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Around here, there are lots of stories...
Old 06-26-2022, 03:17 PM
  #16

but it rarely makes the news.

The theives are slick-that's for sure!

The news showed a car being targeted while street parked in broad daylight in front of the businesses. It was caught on survelliance camera--a van briefly double parked, one man stepped out of the passengar side and instead of stepping to the sidewalk, dropped down to slide under the target vehicle, the van stay double parked so it blocked the view from the street side. The curb blocked the view from the other side.

When the thief stood back up, he entered the van's sliding door instead of front seat.

Ballsy.
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Old 06-26-2022, 03:17 PM
  #17

This problem was a factor in our family deciding not to buy a remodeled 19th century home. There are no garages in these homes and building one is about impossible when dealing with historical buildings.
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Old 06-26-2022, 03:47 PM
  #18

I drive a Prius and have to park outside, because my house doesn't have a garage. My mechanic told me not to bother installing the protective plate over the converter because it wouldn't do anything. She said the thieves just take an extra minute to saw through it. So I just make sure my insurance covers the theft, keep my deductible low, and cross my fingers.

I wish they would go after the people who buy these stolen parts. It can't be that hard to regulate. If they managed to regulate cold medicine they can do this too.
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Old 06-27-2022, 11:56 AM
  #19

My neighbor said the part that goes on that slows down the theft is all it does. It does not stop it. She just had hers taken out front so she knows. So no matter what they can be stollen over and over.
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Old 06-27-2022, 06:48 PM
  #20

I read about this on several Reddit boards and some suggested metal plates,not cages to cover the underside of your car.Another suggestion was to install an air suspension device so when you park your car,it is sitting
close to the ground. What we need is the courts to go after the people buying these stolen converters😔
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Old 06-27-2022, 07:31 PM
  #21

Song of Joy, I never knew a car could run WITHOUT a CC (catalytic converter). But, I'm sure it's not recommended and puts wear and tear on the other car parts.

Shelby3, woah!

meandmyhouse, yep, my mom's friend had no idea about this either before hers was stolen. She had claimed she never even heard of a CC.

anna. right!
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