Catalytic Converter Thefts Create a Double Whammy for Victims


Southern California has experienced a significant surge in catalytic converter thefts in recent years, according to the Los Angeles Police Department. Since 2019, the city has seen a 400% increase in reported incidents, while San Diego had over 3,000 reported cases in 2021, up from just over 600 in 2019. The thefts are fueled by the valuable metals, such as platinum, palladium, and rhodium, contained in the converters, which can fetch high prices on the black market. The stolen parts can be removed in just minutes using simple tools, leaving victims with the cost of replacement and repairs, which can be further compounded by supply chain and backorder issues.

To protect against catalytic converter theft, individuals are advised to park in well-lit or secure areas, install security cameras or alarms, and consider purchasing a catalytic converter lock. It is also important to report any suspicious activity to the police immediately. However, due to a surge in demand for catalytic converters, there may be delays in obtaining replacements. The pandemic has disrupted supply chains, resulting in shortages of metals used in converter production, and the rise in thefts has further exacerbated demand. Availability and delivery times can vary by manufacturer, distributor, and location, so it is recommended to check with suppliers for accurate information.

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