Catalytic converter theft is on the rise, and without proper precautions, businesses can easily fall victim to this annoying and expensive crime. Targeted for the precious metals they contain, stolen catalytic convertors are sold to scrap metal dealers for a few hundred dollars but can cost anywhere from $900 - $2,500 to replace.
Law enforcement attributes the surge in thefts to rising precious metals prices and the economic hardship related to COVID-19. If any of your vehicles have their catalytic converters stolen, not only will you have to pay for replacements, you’ll also have to absorb the costs of vehicle downtime.
In this blog, you’ll learn how to prevent catalytic converter theft by taking simple steps that will protect your vehicles and your bottom line.
4 Tips for Catalytic Converter Theft Prevention
Park Vehicles in a Secure Area
The best way to protect your fleet from catalytic converter theft is by parking vehicles in a secure area, either a garage or fenced-in parking lot. Ensure doors and gates are locked and well lit. Security cameras and vehicle alarms offer added protection.
Vehicles with higher ground clearance, such as trucks or SUVs, are at greater risk as they are easier to crawl underneath. Parking these vehicles near walls, fences, or next to lower vehicles makes it much more challenging for thieves to access catalytic converters.
Parking your vehicles at the front of your business, in a well-lit area, or near a busy road are other strategies to deter theft that may not require much of an investment.
Mark Your Converters
You can mark your fleet’s catalytic converters by either painting them or having the VIN or license plate number engraved on them. Thieves are less likely to steal converters that are traceable back to specific vehicles, and reputable scrap metal dealers will refuse converters that are recognizable as stolen.
Upfit with Catalytic Converter Anti Theft Devices
There are various types of anti-theft devices available. These devices consist of a cage or shield that fits over the converter, making it more difficult and time-consuming to remove. Thieves will often move on once they see these devices and opt to target unprotected vehicles instead.
Be Aware of High-Risk Vehicles
As mentioned above, certain vehicles are more likely to be targeted than others. Along with higher sitting vehicles, Toyota Prius’ are much more likely to have their catalytic converters stolen. As an ultra-low emission vehicle, their catalytic converters contain more precious metals than other vehicles and are worth more.
You can reach out to garages in your area to find out which makes and models are being targeted in your area. Any high-risk vehicles in your fleet should receive priority for anti-theft upfitting and secure parking.
How Ewald Can Help Protect Your Vehicles
Here at Ewald, we can facilitate fleet vehicle upfitting with anti-theft devices. Our partnerships with upfitters around the country ensure we can help you better protect your vehicles, no matter where you are. This option provides the most security as it protects your vehicles wherever your employees may need to park them.
We can also provide guidance on which vehicle types are most and least likely to be targeted, so you can take that into account when it’s time to add new vehicles to your fleet.
Businesses should be aware of catalytic converter theft and take action to protect their fleet, especially for more vulnerable vehicles. Investing in secured parking or anti-theft devices will pay off in the long run and save you costly replacement and downtime expenses.