Plymouth Police Report Spike in Catalytic Converter Thefts
Plymouth police report a recent spike in catalytic converter thefts. Mechanic Jason DuBois from Stellar Autoworks in Plymouth says it’s common to fix cars that have had the converters stolen. Catalytic converters contain valuable metals like platinum, palladium and rhodium. A rise in metal prices has resulted in the increase in thefts.
DuBois can point out cars in his shop that are missing catalytic converters.
“This one’s been cut out and been replaced and it was stolen maybe two years ago probably,” said DuBois. “Catalytic converter helps break down the exhaust gases coming out from the motor to make it come out more eco-friendly into environment.”
DuBois says the long metal funnels can cost anywhere from $1,000 to $5,000 to replace. However, thieves can remove them in a matter of seconds.
“It takes all of 10 seconds maybe. You just need to underneath the car, cut through the pipe and you’re free,” explained DuBois.
Police See Increase of Thefts
Jim Long with Plymouth Police says last week there were seven catalytic converter thefts and seven the week prior to that.
Catalytic converters also have components of platnium, palladium and rhodium which are valuable metals. Long says you can get up to $350 for one converter.
“They are getting higher prices for those particular metals,” said Long. “They go to scrap yards and scrap shops where they are getting cash for stolen converters.”
How do you know if you’ve had a catalytic converter stolen? Long says you’ll know immediately because when you start your car, there will be a loud roar.
Tips to Prevent Catalytic Converter Theft
The Plymouth Police Department advises residents to follow these tips to help prevent theft:
- Park in well-lit areas, in a location where people can see your vehicle
- If you have a garage, keep your car parked inside with the door closed and locked
- Consider adding video surveillance to the area where you regularly park your car
- Install a catalytic converter security locking device, or have it welded to the car frame
- Consider engraving your vehicle identification number (VIN) on the catalytic converter – this may help alert a scrap dealer that it was stolen and make it easier to identify the owner
- Calibrate your vehicle alarm to sound when it detects vibration
- Call 911 for suspicious behavior, such as a person laying on his or her back under a car in a parking lot