The theft of catalytic converters has now hit Lyons.
WARNING: Two people in downtown Lyons reported someone trying to steal their catalytic converters; one succeeded, the other stopped it — Lyons Valley Park & Reese at 4th Street — I’ve warned about this in this newspaper a few times — now it is “HERE IN LYONS”!
“We had a customer come in with a nearly stolen catalytic converter yesterday (November 28) on a Honda CRV. Down on Reece St. a block away from our shop even,” said Eric Kelly, Gateway Auto. “Luckily the guys wife was awake at 1:30a.m. and heard the cutting and went out and turned the porch light on which spooked them. We were able to weld it back up luckily since he got spooked and couldn’t finish the job.”
Colorado is the #1 state for car theft, as of September (per Common Sense Institute); and a top state for catalytic converter theft (California has 37% of the cases)
According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau, the number of reported catalytic converter (which helps a car clean its exhaust) thefts increased from roughly 1,300 in 2018 to more than 52,000 in 2021, (this is the most recent year for which data is available). That’s an increase of roughly 1,215% from 2019. This is because the costs of the precious metals in catalytic converters have skyrocketed, making converters easy to obtain and sell for quick cash.
The Table Mesa parking garage in Boulder is the #1 spot. People often leave their car there and take the bus to the airport. RTD said they are working on putting in cameras, but months have passed without it being completed.
And, surprisingly, older cars that are the aim. (see list below) And hybrids are top because more precious metals are needed for a hybrid’s catalytic converter.
Some cities are increasing the punishment for this, as it is very low, and doesn’t deter them from stealing. Some have recently started to mandate that anyone selling a catalytic converter to a scrap dealer be at least 18 years old and show identification and proof of ownership. Other items in the works are tightening recordkeeping requirements for scrap metal dealers; as well as dramatically increasing the fines and/or jail time for perpetrators.
It takes 30 seconds to cut the CC out! The theft can get $300 for one, and it costs the car owner up to $3,000 to replace it, according to the NICB. You need full coverage for it to be covered by your insurance company (call your agent to confirm!)
Carfax looked at service reports for catalytic converter replacements from more than 60,000 service shops across the country, focusing on service records from 2019 through the first three months of 2022.
Cars Most Likely to Have Their Catalytic Converters Stolen Nationwide (according to CARFAX)
1985-2021 Ford F-Series.
1989-2020 Honda Accord.
2007-17 Jeep Patriot.
1990-2022 Ford Econoline.
1999-2021 Chevrolet Silverado.
2005-21 Chevrolet Equinox.
1997-2020 Honda CR-V.
1987-2019 Toyota Camry.
2011-17 Chrysler 200
2001-21 Toyota Prius
Cars Most Likely to Have Their Catalytic Converters Stolen in the West
2001-21 Toyota Prius
1985-2021 Ford F-Series
1989-2020 Honda Accord
1990-2022 Ford Econoline
1999-2021 Chevrolet Silverado
2007-20 Subaru Outback
2007-17 Jeep Patriot
2003-11 Honda Element
1998-2020 Subaru Forester
1995-2021 Toyota Tacoma
tips, right and wrong
Most frequently recommended tips are:
==Park in a well-lit area, especially when it comes to fleet vehicles, which many businesses own.
==Park in your garage instead of in the driveway or on the street.
Eric Kelly at Gateway says:
1. Dan at Monster Muffler in Berthoud is the best exhaust guy around and can get a new catalytic converter on your truck for a reasonable price. 303-682-0056
2. getcatsecurity.com is a great resource for shields to cover your converter. They are designing these for specific vehicles (the makes/models that are most commonly stolen). I installed one on a Honda element for a customer and I was impressed with the design. Relatively easy to install also! If you can spend $500 to ensure your converter is safe, it’s a no brainer. Since we are now a C.A.R.B compliant state most converters are $800 or more just for the part.
3. NICB recommends: Have a muffler shop etch your vehicle’s VIN on the converter and spray it with highly visible, high-heat paint. Doing so enables law enforcement to track the converters, which in turn could lead police to the thieves. === but Kelly says: A low quality video is essentially useless to identify a hooded person with a sawzall. Without a license plate or anything to go off of, it’s like finding a needle in a haystack. I’ve heard cops tell numerous people that “there isn’t much that can be done.” I’ve also seen videos where cops are telling people to paint and engrave the vin onto the converters. The problem is, people de-can the converter (remove the outside shell) and sell the guts and the shell (that would be painted and engraved) is thrown in the trash. I don’t know how they can regulate this problem. === he adds: I think the engraving of the converters and painting them is still a good deterrent for most low level crooks. They roll under a car and see that, they may choose to not mess with it.