You climb into your 4-Runner, insert the key into the ignition and the engine turns over. Everything seems normal until you hear an awful racket coming from your exhaust system. So begins the experience of many catalytic converter theft victims.
I’m not mechanically inclined, but I’ve been told that the catalytic converter transforms pollutants generated by your car into less harmful emissions. These converters have become a favorite target because they contain certain metals which are highly marketable.
It’s a fairly simple process. Thieves take a hacksaw to your exhaust system or just remove a few bolts. Some models are more popular than others because of ground clearance (accessibility) or ease of removal.
These thefts are not a major problem in Boca Raton. We had 14 cases in 2010 and 11 in 2009. 80% of the vehicles targeted were Toyotas.
I’m concerned because as cars become increasingly difficult to steal, criminals will resort to removing accessories as opposed to stealing the whole vehicle. So, how do you combat these thefts? Park your car in a well-lit, populated area. Parking in a locked garage is always the best bet. At home, consider surveillance cameras, which are becoming more affordable. With any crime trend, it is always a good idea to pay attention to media reports and visit police web sites to get current information about your particular area.
We are more effective when you are informed and alert. Stay safe.