Police struggle to deter rising catalytic converter thefts

Troy Webber
Posted at 10:19 PM, Jan 02, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-02 22:19:32-05

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — States across the country are taking steps to try to deter the thefts of catalytic converters.

Thefts of the exhaust emission control devices have jumped over the past two years as prices for the precious metals they contain have skyrocketed. Thieves can expect to get anywhere from $50 to $300 if they sell the converters to scrap yards.

Scrap workers then sell them to recycling facilities to reclaim the precious metals inside, including platinum, palladium and rhodium. For victims, the costs of replacing a stolen catalytic converter can easily top $1,000.

The National Insurance Crime Bureau said the number of catalytic converter thefts reported to insurance companies jumped from 3,389 in 2019 to 14,433 in 2020.