Catalytic Converter Thefts Rising Throughout the Country
March 17, 2021—Catalytic converter thefts have skyrocketed in California, and across the country, during the pandemic, the Los Angeles Times reported.
The parts have become an unusual windfall for thieves, who can make hundreds of dollars selling them to auto parts suppliers or scrapyards. Because of the global demand for the critical emission-control devices, just an ounce of the precious metals in the part can be worth thousands of dollars.
In Los Angeles County alone, the Sheriff’s Department reported a 400% increase in catalytic converter thefts from 2019 to 2020. Across California, catalytic converter replacements have increased more than 90% during 2020, Doug Shupe, AAA spokesman, told the publication.
The publication noted that Toyota Priuses have become a prime target because the hybrid vehicles emit fewer toxins, leaving a cleaner and more valuable catalytic converter.