Be Aware: Thefts Of Catalytic Converters Are On The Rise In Duluth And Around The Northland
It seems so farfetched, someone crawling under your car in the dark of night and within minutes they pull out your catalytic converter from under your car. It's a piece of equipment that is essential for your cars exhaust system. The reason they are stealing this particular car part is because thieves can get up to $300 for the part. So how do you know if yours is missing? Your car will be every loud, which will alert you immediately that something is not right.
Earlier this summer when I was in St. Paul I was staying at a friends house in a nice area of town near St. Thomas University. They mentioned how a bunch of people in their neighborhood had their catalytic converters stolen from their cars that were parked in the driveway. It was on my mind all night, hoping that when I woke up the next morning mine would not be gone, thankfully it wasn't.
This has been happening around the Northland as well. The Silver Bay Police Department recently shared an alert on Facebook about a rise in catalytic converter thefts in Lake and St. Louis Counties.
This is a tough situation for so many people who have no choice but to park on the street or a parking lot making their car vulnerable. Jordan Matt from 4th Street Auto said to WDIO:
They'll go out to parking lots of churches or apartment buildings, and or businesses at night where cars are parked. And they'll go there with a sawzall and cut -- literally after and before the catalytic converter is, buzz it right out, take that precious metal converter, throw it in the car and they're on their way.
Catalytic converters are made of rhodium and platinum, which are very expensive metals, which is why it so valuable. According to Auto Zone, depending on what type of vehicle you drive and what type of catalytic converter you have, it can cost anywhere from $200 - $2,500 or more to replace! Insurance companies have paid out millions of dollars in claims for stolen catalytic converters, but some insurance companies won't cover the loss unless you have full coverage.
So how can you protect your catalytic converter from being stolen? Matt recommends "spray painting the converter itself with a high temperature orange paint or red paint. VHT is Very High Temperature, so 18,000-20,000 degrees so that that paint doesn't just chip off. You can buy catalytic converter locks, where they put a big 'ol metal plate underneath it, and you literally weld it to the body of the car."
If this is not possible, try parking in a well lit area or a place that has cameras. Also for those people that have trucks or other vehicles that are high off the ground, it is obviously easier for thieves to get under your vehicles to steal the catalytic converter.
The Silver Bay Police Department also recommends installing motion-sensing lights and/or cameras outside your home. They also say if you are going to a remote location like a camping, hiking, or canoe trip, to consider getting a ride so you don't leave your vehicle unattended in a remote place for a lengthy period of time.