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Shocking Increase In Number of Automotive Theft

Jul 15, 2022 - 2 minute read

Shocking Increase In Number of Automotive Theft

Catalytic Converter theft has risen recently.

More than 50,000 catalytic converters were stolen in the United States in the last year. That is a leap of over three times the number of thefts the year before (around 14,500.) The State and Federal Governments are in the process of passing legislation that will help prevent the fraudulent sale of these converters to help reduce the number of thefts. Right now, thieves can make quite a bit of money in a fairly short time. "We've seen where they quickly, like NASCAR, get the jacks, jack them up, cut them off, keep an eye out for security. The cops ... get these items $300 a piece generally, and making 10 or 20 a night," said Los Angeles Police Department Detective Michael Ventura. (ABC Article) The Federal Government is currently running the Bipartisan Prevention Auto Recycling Act (PART Act) through congress. The Act will issue a grant to begin stamping the VIN 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 had identifying marks removed.

What are people doing about it?

Some states already enacting legislation of their own. Maine is already requiring that dealers stamp converters with the VIN number of the vehicle that they are attached to unless the converter is not clearly visible from the underside of the vehicle. Mississippi increased the fine for anyone caught steeling a catalytic converter. They also require recyclers to provide their personal ID and the VIN of the vehicle the converter came from. Buyers are also required to pay with a check. And in Connecticut it is now illegal for recyclers to acquire a converter that is not connected to a car and must keep written records of any transaction 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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