A catastrophic problem has been plaguing people around New York state. Before you ask, it’s not an epidemic of people failing their online defensive driving course. It’s an issue that is costing people their entire paychecks, and it doesn’t seem to be easing. People are having one, unknowingly valuable part of their cars stolen, and for an odd reason, too. That car part is the catalytic converter.
The catalytic converter might not be something you’ve heard of before, like not hearing about what happened to the Bently Butler car concept. In fact, it might sound like something you would find next to the warp driver of space vessel in Star Trek. However, it’s an important part of your vehicle – especially if you don’t like noise.
Your car produces emissions through it’s exhaust constantly. The catalytic converter is a mechanical device that converts the toxic pollutants into less potent versions of itself. It’s a process conducted underneath the flooring of your vehicle, which is the perfect spot for thieves to hide. Just the like the monster hiding under your bed at night.
The Catalyst to the Catalytic Problem
The major catalyst to the stolen catalytic converters isn’t the fact that criminals have a sudden concern for the emission of their cars. As pleasant as that would be, it’s something a little greedier. The catalytic converters contain platinum. Platinum is a valuable metal that can be sold for high end money on the black market or to unsuspected buyers.
Roger Morris of the National Insurance Crime Bureau states, “there’s a black market for the catalytic converters, which contain platinum. Crooks can sell them for about $200 each.” It doesn’t take catalytic thieves much time to snatch a converter off a car. For a little bit of elbow grease, that’s a major earning. Only after the cost of elbow grease, of course.
The catalytic converters are being stolen by thieves who are handy with a hacksaw. They prey on unsuspecting cars parked in vacant and in dimly lit areas. After sliding beneath the car, all they have to do is saw the converter off, find a buyer, and profit at someone else’s expense.
The cost of getting your converter replaced can be cataclysmic on your bank account. Jennifer Mendoza is a New Yorker who was victimized by such criminal activity. When asked about how much this would cost for repairs, Mendoza responded, “Seven hundred and fifty dollars… that’s my paycheck.” In other words, it’s not a cheap fix.
The Catalytic Covetable Solution
One person cannot prevent being targeted unsuspectingly. However, they can act to make it more of a challenge for thieves to steal their catalytic converters. It might not be the end all solution, however making it difficult for people to steal parts from your car could be a simple way to deter their unethical desires.
Keep your car locked in a garage or area with high security. Criminals tend to be risk averse. Therefore, if they think there’s a chance of them getting caught or apprehended, often they might not take it. That means, when you park your car in an area with security, such as a guard or camera, it will decrease the chance a criminal will damage your car.
Parking your car in a well-lit, public location can keep thieves from sliding under your car when you’re least expecting it. Practicing defensive parking is a way to prevent anyone from conducting sketchy behavior around your car. When your car is well lit, it acts as a spotlight. Everyone knows thieves hate spotlights.