HOUSTON – Catalytic converter thefts are on the rise nationwide, especially in Houston.
Investigators with Houston Police Department Auto Theft Division said catalytic converter thefts have increased by 300%, compared with last year.
Thieves are after catalytic converters because they contain precious metals that can be sold at a higher price. With the right knowledge, thieves can actually remove the converters from vehicles in less than two minutes, investigators said.
Six models of vehicles are often targeted, including Toyota Tundra, Toyota Prius and Toyota Tacoma, Ford F-250, Honda Element and Honda CR-V. Some vehicles may also have up to four converters.
Sgt. Tracy Hicks with the HPD Auto Theft discusses thefts of catalytic converters and provides tips on how to keep you from being a victim including things you can buy to protect your property.— Houston Police (@houstonpolice) May 13, 2021
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With the high rise in catalytic converter thefts, repairs costs can bring sticker shock to victims, with prices ranging between $3,000 to $10,000, HPD said in a news release.
Houston police Sgt. Tracy Hicks with the Auto Theft Division shared the following tips to prevent a catalytic converter theft:
- Use your garage to protect your vehicle
- Etch your VIN number or license plate number on your converters.
- Install a skid plate or large cover on the bottom of your vehicles
- Upgrade car alarms that activate when your car is jacked on one side
- Consider aftermarket products such as straps or cages to make the theft difficult.
- Spray paint your converter with bright colors.