Catalytic converter theft skyrockets: Is your car a target for organised crime?

In part as a result of the pandemic putting delays on almost every industry and in part as a result of the growing demand for recycled metals (a trend that’s set to continue to increase over the next 20 years), the value of precious metals has gone up massively since this time last year.

This is great news for us scrap merchants and anyone looking to cash in on their precious metals, but there is a downside to the rising value of precious metals – and that’s theft! Which? have revealed that the number of catalytic converter thefts is up 104% on average in England, Northern Ireland, and Wales despite our three national lockdowns.

The precious metals found within catalytic converters – like platinum, palladium, and rhodium – are very valuable at the moment, making a single scrap catalytic converter worth around £400! Criminals are now targeting them to make a quick buck. Despite selling scrap for cash being illegal, ads for scrap converters in exchange for cash are popping up on Facebook.

Which? have revealed research suggesting that, over the past three years, the models of car most at risk of this kind of theft are older Hondas and Toyotas – in particular, hybrid models.

Having your catalytic converter stolen can lead to your insurance premiums going up or even having your vehicle totally written off. It can take less than a minute for a well-organised thief to steal your catalytic converter so here are some tips to help protect your vehicle:

  • Always try to park in a well-lit, easily visible location (ideally with CCTV).
  • Park against a wall or fence.
  • Don’t leave your vehicle parked on the curb.
  • Get SmartWater or another forensic-marking tool to make your converter traceable, and let potential thieves know your vehicle is traceable by advertising this in your car window with a SmartWater sticker.
  • Consider a Catlock or a tilt alarm as they can be a deterrent – but don’t rely on them alone.

Watch this video for more information on how to keep your catalytic converter safe from thieves:

If you’re looking to cash in on the value of precious metals going up and want to sell your car for scrap in Manchester, all we need is your car and V5 logbook and you’ll get paid there and then. We also have a convenient drive-through service for any scrap metal you’ve got, where we’ll sort and weigh your scrap for you while you wait.

Contact us if you need any more information and our friendly team will be happy to help!

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