Catalytic converter thefts on the rise locally: Prevention is key
Information from Seattle Police Department
The SW Precinct has noticed a string of catalytic converter thefts over the past few weeks.
Catalytic converters are a component of every vehicle’s exhaust system. A catalytic converter is a device that converts toxic chemicals produced by your vehicle into relatively harmless gasses before they are emitted into the atmosphere. Catalytic converters contain precious metals like platinum, palladium, and rhodium.
Thieves steal these devices and sell them on the black market where they are later harvested for their precious metals at illegal processing facilities. The cost to replace a catalytic converter ranges between $500 and $4,000 depending on factors such as the type of vehicle you own and your insurance coverage. Catalytic converters are typically located underneath vehicles in the center of the undercarriage. Traditionally, SUV’s and trucks have been targeted because their high clearance makes it easy for thieves to gain access.
In an effort to decrease future incidents, we would like to provide the following prevention suggestions:
-Speak with your vehicle manufacture to inquire about specific devices that can be added to shield or lock the catalytic converter
-If possible, ensure your vehicle is parked in a busy, locked, monitored and/or well-lit location
-Check on your vehicle regularly to ensure no damage has been done
-Work with neighbors to establish or maintain a Block Watch group to increase “eyes on”
-Report all suspicious and/or criminal activity to the SPD by 911 immediately
- Install motion sensing lights in your driveway.
- Install a catalytic converter protection device.
- Etch your car's VIN number or license plate number on the converter to make it easier to identify a ring of thieves in the future.
Please feel free to reach out to Jennifer Danner directly if you are interested in discussing this further and/or if you would like to schedule a free safety/security assessment.
Email : Jennifer.Danner@seattle.gov
Desk Phone : 206-256-6820