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Shocking Increase In Number of Automotive Theft

Jul 15, 2022 - 2 minute read

a close up of a car's exhaust pipe with a red object in the middle of the exhaust pipe

Catalytic Converter theft has risen recently.

More than 50,000 catalytic converterswere stolen in the United States in the last year. That is a leap of over threetimes the number of thefts the year before (around 14,500.) The State andFederal Governments are in the process of passing legislation that will helpprevent the fraudulent sale of these converters to help reduce the number ofthefts. Right now, thieves can make quite a bit of money in a fairly shorttime. "We've seen where theyquickly, like NASCAR, get the jacks, jack them up, cut them off, keep an eyeout for security. The cops ... get these items $300 a piece generally, andmaking 10 or 20 a night," said Los Angeles Police Department DetectiveMichael Ventura. (ABC Article) The FederalGovernment is currently running the Bipartisan Prevention Auto Recycling Act(PART Act) through congress. The Act will issue a grant to begin stamping theVIN numbers of the vehicle they are attached to onto all catalytic converters.It will also make the purchase and sale of any catalytic converter which hadidentifying marks removed.

What are people doing about it?

Some states already enacting legislation of their own. Maine is already requiringthat dealers stamp converters with the VIN number of the vehicle that they areattached to unless the converter is not clearly visible from the underside ofthe vehicle. Mississippi increased the fine for anyone caught steeling acatalytic converter. They also require recyclers to provide their personal IDand the VIN of the vehicle the converter came from. Buyers are also required topay with a check. And in Connecticut it is now illegal for recyclers to acquirea converter that is not connected to a car and must keep written records of anytransaction involving a converter.

What does this mean for Kruse Motors? Dealers are not commonly the target of these thefts, but Fords F-Series trucks tend to be a popular target. That means that a decently sized portion of our customers are in a high-risk category and it is entirely possible that one of them could be the victim of one of these thefts.

-Trevor Van Keulen

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