Catalytic converter thefts in Texas are soaring

Crime & Public Safety

TYLER, Texas (KETK) — Texas ranks as the second state for the most catalytic converter thefts across the country, according to information release by insurer State Farm.

So far this year, State Farm has paid nearly $21.5 million in claims for catalytic converter thefts, the company announced. In all of 2020, the company only paid out $18 million for such claims. 

In Texas, thieves are most likely to target the Toyota Tundra and Prius for stealing catalytic converters, shows the insurer’s data.

Last year, State Farm paid out $1 million in claims for stolen catalytic converters. Through the first six months of 2021, the company has paid out $2.6 million.

State Farm

State Farm says catalytic converters are easy to remove. A thief can unbolt and remove a catalytic converter in less than 10 minutes. 

The metals used to make the catalytic converters include platinum, palladium and rhodium. All which thieves sell for hundreds to thousands of dollars per ounce. In some markets, platinum is trading at over $1,000 per ounce, palladium at $2,500 per ounce, and rhodium at $17,500 per ounce.

State Farm Tips on Preventing theft

State Farm says that when someone has had a catalytic converter stolen, the person should confirm with your insurer if your your auto policy covers the theft of your entire vehicle. A replacement catalytic converter can cost up to $3,000, not to mention the cost of missing work and finding alternate transportation.

Consider anti-theft protection like a cable-locking device or a steel shield that runs along the exhaust system on the bottom of your car. There are other steps to take like inscribing your car’s VIN on the converter so it is traceable for a reputable scrap dealer. 

Also consider parking inside a garage at night. If that isn’t possible, make sure outdoor home lights are on and bright. You can also turn up the sensitivity on your car alarm so that if a thief jostles your car, it will activate. 

Consider parking in well-lit and public area. Parking garages normally have cameras, which deter criminals. Consider installing motion-sensing lights for your driveway.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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