Catalytic Converter Theft Rises Across the Nation
Detroit experiencing high thefts of converters that fetch up to $150.00 on open market.
If you don't have a car, you probably don't know what a catalytic converter is. But many car thieves across the country sure do know what they are and the value they carry.
Catalytic converters prevent harmful compounds from being released by their auto's exhaust and often contain precious metals such as platinum or palladium. But they also can get anyone with one up to $150 at a scrap yard.
Across the country, most notably in Detroit, catalytic converter theft has been on the rise. A pair of thieves were recently arrested after being responsible for stealing over 100 in the Detroit metropolitan area, according to the Detroit News.
"You get under there, zip-zip and take it off," said Jeff Prior, manager of J.B. DLCO and Multistate Transmissions in Warren, which had to replace converters for two customers who suffered thefts from the shop's parking lot last fall. "We had to put them on for free. … The darn things cost $300 or $400."
Detective Alan Gwyn of the Grosse Pointe Police Department said one was stolen from him a couple years ago and it cost $270 to replace. One recent victim reported her replacement cost $900 after installation, Gwyn said. A material that the converter is made of, Rhodium, sells for roughly $9,500 an ounce, while platinum pays at about $2,000.
"Until there's no dollar value on them … a guy can work three minutes on a Chevy converter when it's dark, and the next thing you know, he's got $100," said Warren, Detroit Police Sgt. Stephen Mills.
Since 1975, all vehicles produced in the United States must have a catalytic converter as part of the exhaust system.
Here's a list of steps to prevent catalytic converter theft. Click here.