Protect Your Car – Thieves Look For This Part!

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The catalytic converter contains precious metals which are melted. Pic: NewsCanada

(NC) A vehicle is often a sizeable investment that one wants to keep safe.

Aside from practicing safe driving habits to prevent damage from collisions, you should also keep your car protected from damage due to theft.

One part that has grown in popularity among criminals is the catalytic converter. The catalytic converter is a device in your vehicle that transforms the toxic pollutants in your exhaust into less toxic ones.

This component is part of just about every car, whether it is new or used. But criminals are stealing these converters because they contain precious metals that can be melted down and sold.

According to insurance provider Aviva Canada, they’ve seen a 500 percent increase in catalytic converter thefts from 2018 to 2020. The increase in the price of precious metals is driving up these numbers.

Further, pandemic restrictions and distancing measures have created greater economic pressures and more opportunities for criminals to target vehicles – since they’re often parked in the same spot for days, making them an easy target.

These thefts have largely been in Quebec, Alberta and Ontario, with Ford, Honda and Hyundai being the most targeted vehicle makes. Over half of the vehicles being targeted are over 10 years old. So, how can you prevent catalytic converter theft?

Here are some tips:

• Be aware and tell friends and family about this surprising issue

• If possible, park inside a garage or well-lit space.

• Get an ID number etched into the converter to make it harder for a criminal to sell, and therefore less desirable to them.

• Install an anti-theft device, like a rebar cage or weld the converter to the frame to make the theft more difficult.

• Consider making your next car electric — they don’t have catalytic converters at all. If you are a victim of this type of theft, make sure you report it to police and your insurance provider. Reporting the theft can help identify high-risk areas and reduce this type of crime.

Find advice on how to protect yourself from these types of thefts and report potential fraud at aviva.ca/en/about-aviva/protect-yourself-from-fraud.

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