Why Are Texas Vehicles Losing Their Catalytic Converters?
Cars, trucks, vans, SUVs. They're used on a daily basis by most of us. They're an investment, and they're our lifeline to work, school, and other activities. With these vehicles being everywhere, it only makes sense that thieves see an opportunity. Sure, there's the usual breaking of a window or door to get in and steal your valuables. But bad guys also have their eyes on particular piece of your car, and it's getting some killed.
The catalytic converter.
LOOK: WHY ARE TEXAS VEHICLES LOSING THEIR CATALYTIC CONVERTERS?
This part of your vehicle plays a big role, not only in smooth operation but in helping to protect the environment. A catalytic converter works off what's called a catalyst to help convert harmful emissions from your engine into safer gasses like steam.
So why are these converters so interesting to thieves? Money. Thieves know they can resell these converters for cash. You see, the catalytic converter contains three different metals. Platinum, palladium and rhodium. The price of these metals has risen greatly over the past few years. These metals are priced by the ounce. A couple years ago, an ounce of platinum shot to $1,100. An ounce of palladium climbed all the way to nearly $2,400 and rhodium increased the most to almost $18,000. While that's some serious cash, it can also get you killed.
According to Fox 11 in Los Angeles, a man stealing a converter in Palmdale, California, was run over by a woman sleeping in her SUV. She was startled by the sound of the saw underneath. You can watch the news story from this incident below.
It's no wonder that junkyards actively search for catalytic converters to resell. There are even some companies that offer to buy your converter straight out. While the value of specific ones varies, I've seen some listed anywhere from $150 to up to over $10,000.
Remember, if you see anything suspicious regarding your or someone else's vehicle, you can report a tip to Abilene Crime Stoppers.