We’re filing this one under: “Who knew?” Reader Charley sent a note late last night:
Watch out for catalytic converter thieves out and about. On the night of 11 May, someone very efficiently crawled under my ’93 Toyota 4Runner and stole the catalytic converter by sawing through the exhaust pipe on either end. This theft is common in these vehicles because of the easy access. It is well documented on blogs. But I thought we should know that it’s happening right here in Wallingford. The vehicle was street parked on the corner of 47th and Interlake, facing east on 47th. Please be vigilant and perhaps we can catch these thieves.
Why would thieves steal catalytic converters? Edmunds.com helps answer the question:
The catalytic converter was mandated for all U.S. cars and trucks in 1975, to convert harmful pollutants into less harmful emissions before they left the exhaust system. Precious metals such as platinum, palladium, rhodium or gold are used as the catalyst. Depending on which metal was used, thieves can sell the converters to metal recyclers for $20-$200. The recyclers then extract the metal and resell it for as much as $6,000 an ounce, as in the case of rhodium. While national theft figures are not recorded for catalytic converter theft, the crime has risen in tandem with sharply rising metal prices.
The Edmunds.com article has advice on keeping your catalytic converter where it belongs