You’ve probably heard of catalytic converter theft before and wondered why it’s such a common crime. Maybe you assume it’s just another car part they try to convince you to repair during an oil change at Valvoline. However, a catalytic converter is a significant part of your vehicle, which as a result, means it carries value. So first things first, what does a catalytic converter do, and why would anyone want to steal it?
Why Catalytic Converters?
A catalytic converter is a device installed in a vehicle’s exhaust system. It is designed to convert harmful pollutants in exhaust gas into less harmful substances before they are released into the atmosphere. The catalytic converter contains a ceramic or metal honeycomb coated with catalysts such as platinum, palladium, and rhodium. When exhaust gases pass through the converter, the catalysts cause chemical reactions that convert the pollutants into less harmful substances such as carbon dioxide and water vapor. Catalytic converters are essential to a vehicle’s emission control system and are required by law on most vehicles. When missing, a vehicle will often have much higher fuel consumption and make a loud grinding noise when attempting to drive.
While the technical information is important to understand the high theft rate, the catalysts hold the highest value. The value of these catalysts made up of precious metals has skyrocketed since 2019. rhodium is worth around 14,000 dollars per troy ounce. That’s octuple the value of gold. These metals are difficult to find outside of catalytic converters, making them a prime target for thieves who want to make a quick buck.
Crime Rate in the Golden State
In 2021, over 1,600 catalytic converters were stolen per month! According to data compiled by the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB), since 2018, the annual thefts have increased by over 1,000 percent. Why is it so high in California? One of the hottest targets for catalytic converter thefts is hybrid vehicles. These vehicles tend to have two converters that get little wear due to limited gas consumption. This greatly increases their value on the market. However, just because hybrids are commonly targeted does not mean other vehicles are immune, including commercial vehicles.
There are currently minimal laws in place and others that are working their way through the pipeline to create further protection from this crime. This includes amplifying the punishment for theft and making it more difficult to sell catalytic converters. So the question becomes, what can you do to protect your vehicle?
The Sonitrol Way
Our video and audio surveillance are a great step for your business to protect your team’s vehicles and the commercial vehicles that belong to your organization. Not only does this allow you to monitor your vehicles from anywhere in the world, but by pairing these two security measures, you have a team of experienced professionals who are also watching your property. When movement is sensed, the video automatically begins recording. With the addition of our audio surveillance system, we can monitor any location a criminal may enter your property. This not only allows us to determine whether an event needs police action but also to warn police where the criminal is located. The accuracy of our system prevents you from ever having to worry about false alarms.
A quality security system will allow you to keep an eye on your vehicles and save you from paying the expensive replacement costs that come with a stolen catalytic converter.
So remember that Sonitrol is here to protect your property from rising crime rates in the area. Our state-of-the-art technology is the perfect solution to keep you protected. Contact us today to find out how we can work together to protect your business!