Catalytic converter theft

Catalytic converter theft

Along with copper spouting, the latest trendy thing to steal is catalytic converters. They’ve been around since 1975, but with the recent meteoric rise in precious metal prices, they’ve become a nugget of meltable wealth waiting to be pilfered from your pride and joy. Platinum, palladium and rhodium are the metals used, and check out these figures to see why suddenly it’s pretty valuable:

Platinum was US$700/oz 5 years ago, but you’d need to shell out US$1700/oz nowadays.

Palladium was US$200/oz 5 years ago, and it’s now about US$400/oz

Rhodium was US$300/oz 5 years ago. It’s now US$8400. Yes, over eight thousand dollars. That’s an increase of a bazillion percent.

There’s not a huge amount of metal in the converters themselves, but you don’t need that much to make for a tidy profit. The worst affected vehicles are those with a large ground clearance as it makes it easy for thieves to get underneath them and remove the cat.

How do you stop the thefts? Ford in the UK has launched an anti-theft initiative where it stamps a serial number on the shell of the catalytic converter. Other than that, you could try not parking in dodgy places, something that’s getting quite difficult.

Along with copper spouting, the latest trendy thing to steal is catalytic converters. They’ve been around since 1975, but with the recent meteoric rise in precious metal prices, they’ve become a nugget of meltable wealth waiting to be pilfered from your pride and joy. Platinum, palladium and rhodium are the metals used, and check out these figures to see why suddenly it’s pretty valuable:

Platinum was US$700/oz 5 years ago, but you’d need to shell out US$1700/oz nowadays.

Palladium was US$200/oz 5 years ago, and it’s now about US$400/oz

Rhodium was US$300/oz 5 years ago. It’s now US$8400. Yes, over eight thousand dollars. That’s an increase of a bazillion percent.

There’s not a huge amount of metal in the converters themselves, but you don’t need that much to make for a tidy profit. The worst affected vehicles are those with a large ground clearance as it makes it easy for thieves to get underneath them and remove the cat.

How do you stop the thefts? Ford in the UK has launched an anti-theft initiative where it stamps a serial number on the shell of the catalytic converter. Other than that, you could try not parking in dodgy places, something that’s getting quite difficult.

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