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Catalytic Converter Thefts

Catalytic converter thefts are becoming increasingly more common because these devices contain precious metals (platinum, palladium, rhodium and gold), which are extremely valuable and are easily sold to scrap metal dealers. Most converters can be removed in a few minutes by using only a wrench and removing a few bolts. SUV’s and trucks are the more popular targets because these vehicles are higher off of the ground than standard passenger vehicles; since the theft requires the thief to crawl under the vehicle to access the converter. The thefts have occurred in parking lots, business parks where fleet vehicles are parked unattended and even in driveways. There are many strategies to help prevent these thefts.

* Check how your converter is installed. If it is only bolted on, then tack weld either the bolts or the mounting surface of the unit. This will not guarantee the unit will not be stolen, but it may deter thieves, causing them to move on to an easier target.

* Make the converter identifiable and harder to sell by engraving it or using mechanics paint to mark it. Once the thief slides under the car this may be enough of a deterrent to prevent the theft.

* Fleet vehicles can be protected by using other vehicles to block the undercarriages and locking the vehicles in fenced, limited access areas. We also recommend the use of security lighting and cameras. This will not only assist with deterring catalytic converter thefts, but also the thefts of valuable tools and equipment.

* There are also after-market products which “cradle” the catalytic converter and are made of hard to cut metal.

Remember, catalytic converter thieves are very bold and have committed their crimes in broad daylight and in busy parking lots. Please be mindful of people hanging around in parking lots, seen under cars, carrying tools or simply acting suspiciously. Contact the Boca Raton Police Services Department immediately at 561-368-6201 or 911 if you see any of these situations. For more information on crime prevention related issues, please visit www.BocaPolice.com .