auto theft

catalytic converter theft

Catalytic converters are popular targets among thieves because they contain valuable precious metals such as platinum, palladium, and rhodium.

Late-model pickup trucks and truck-based SUVs are particularly vulnerable due to their high ground clearance and removable bolt-on converters.

Even welded-on converters can be easily cut off.

The catalytic converters of Toyota Prius vehicles, known for their excellent condition, are also frequently stolen.

Thieves often use pipe cutters to remove converters discreetly, but this method can result in damage to other vehicle components, including the alternator, wiring, and fuel lines.

The surge in metal prices during the early 2000s commodities boom resulted in a substantial increase in converter theft.

Replacing a stolen catalytic converter can cost more than $1,000, and even more if the vehicle sustains damage during the theft.



Catalytic converter theft saw a dramatic rise in the United States in the late 2010s to early 2020s, fueled by the escalating prices of the metals contained within.


In the UK, the shortage of converters led to long wait times to replace stolen ones, as older-model hybrids, like Toyota’s, with higher precious metal content became a favored target of thieves.


In 2021, a new trend emerged in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where converters were being stolen for use in drug production.


Because this problem seems to be here to stay, many companies have developed solutions to protect your property, and anti-theft devices have been developed, read our post here

In conclusion

because catalytic converters contain expensive precious metals, theft of them is an issue that is spreading throughout the world.

Late-model pickup trucks and SUVs, as well as other vehicles with high ground clearance and easily accessible converters, are particularly at risk.

The problem has only gotten worse as a result of the recent spike in metal prices, which has multiplied theft in the US and caused shortages in other nations.

In rare instances, the theft of converters is even used to finance illicit operations like the production of drugs.

It is crucial for car owners to implement security measures to safeguard their vehicles and stop catalytic converter theft.