Catalytic converters are valuable auto parts that reduce the amount of pollution put out by a vehicle. They’re also a frequent target of thieves. CarFax has described what they are and why they’re such a popular stolen item, saying:
Catalytic converters are a key component of a car’s emissions system, reducing the amount of harmful pollution going out the tailpipe.
[…]Catalytic converters often don’t get replaced just because they overheat or get clogged – they’re often stolen, especially on older versions of popular models such as the Honda Civic and Toyota Camry.
Car thieves know there is strong demand from repair shops and individuals looking to save money on replacement parts, especially on older vehicles, on which owners are reluctant to spend big money on a car with low resale value. The same is true for body parts for popular models from several years back. Shady repair shops might also buy stolen parts but bill their customers for a new one at a much higher price, figuring the customer will never know.
“Cats” are also stolen for another reason: The precious metal that’s inside – the palladium, rhodium, and platinum that are the catalysts.
So, because of the precious metals within them and the need for them, particularly when fixing older vehicles, thieves in need of a quick buck often try to steal catalytic converters.
Now, imagine if you will, a world where thieves actually took all of the skills and drive they put into stealing other people’s stuff and actually apply it to developing themselves personally and getting an actual, legal job. How much more productive would these folks be?
Not only that, but hey, they wouldn’t be clogging up prison cells, which would leave them open for hardened criminals who rape, kidnap, and murder people. You know, the kind of folks who really should be locked up away from society.
Well, the level of crime has grown incredibly severe in the past year, surging a whopping 6450% in Phoenix, Arizona alone.
Wayne Dillon, who works with the Property Crimes Bureau at the Phoenix Police Department to investigate catalytic converter thefts. Describing the problem to Fox 10, he said:
“We’ve seen such an uptick in the last two and a half to three years that it’s been staggering for all of my staff and all of the departments around the Valley.”
The Fox 10 report then goes on to comment on the skyrocketing increase in catalytic converter thefts in the city, saying:
In 2020, Phoenix Police took 72 cases of reported catalytic converter thefts, up from 19 in 2019. In 2021, a boom of over 4,700 cases. Through February 2022, Phoenix Police have taken 690 reports – with some cases possibly including multiple stolen converters.
From 72 cases to 4700 cases! That’s a shocking increase, one that city police are flabbergasted by.
And while Phoenix is the Arizona city that’s seen the largest increase in catalytic converter thefts, other Arizona cities have also been dealing with the issue as well. Mesa, Arizona, for example, saw an 814% increase in such cases, and Gilbert saw a 975% spike.
One Arizona state representative is attempting to deal with the problem by pushing through a bill that would require the tracking of the converters and reporting their sale, something that would it make it far harder for the used auto shops to sell the stolen converters. As Just the News reported:
Arizona State Rep. Diego Espinoza, D-Tolleson, sponsored a bill that would mandate catalytic converters to be tracked and sales to be reported to the Arizona Department of Public Services. The bill also would prohibit the possession, solicitation or advertising of a used catalytic converter outside of regular transactions.
Until it or some other bill passes, residents will just need to hope junkies don’t steal their catalytic converters.
This story syndicated with permission from Will, Author at Trending Politics