Automotive

Supply Chain Issues Drive-Up Catalytic Converter Thefts

If you’re already willing to crawl under a car, maybe you should learn to fix them instead of destroy them? It's more profitable
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Supply Chain Issues Drive-Up Catalytic Converter Thefts

Once upon a time, a desperate thief equipped with a hacksaw and a lookout could climb under a vehicle and return with less than $100 in precious metals. Catalytic converters contain rhodium, platinum, and palladium. Ongoing supply chain issues have driven the prices of such rare metals up, and thieves have taken a renewed interest. 

Now hiring: Junkyard dogs? Previously relegated to abandoned back roads in the dead of night, these thefts have increased in quantity and scope. The number of reported thefts increased 350% from 2020 to 2021. Thieves now target dealerships and fleets with more frequency. In January of this year, offenders cut 20 converters from a fleet of school buses in Detroit.

State governments are investigating measures to prevent these thefts but urge dealerships and rental agencies to take precautions.

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