Bend‘Hopefully, it keeps them away’: Rise in catalytic converter thefts points to...

‘Hopefully, it keeps them away’: Rise in catalytic converter thefts points to use of anti-theft devices

‘Hopefully, it keeps them away’: Rise in catalytic converter thefts points to use of anti-theft devices

(Update: Adding video, comments from Bend auto shop, theft victim)

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) — Catalytic converter thefts are on the rise, as thieves can cut a catalytic converter from beneath a vehicle in minutes and sell what’s inside for thousands of dollars. But there is a way to protect the converter from thieves — an anti-theft device.

Catalytic converters are installed beneath the car to change the harmful compounds from an engine’s emissions into safe gases, like steam, and are made from precious metals. For thieves, it takes only a couple of minutes to remove one. The undercarriage equipment can be worth thousands of dollars.

Casey Currier, an Import Performance Service Advisor, said Friday the cost of a catalytic converter theft device depends on the car, but typically ranges from $350 to $450.

Currier said anti-theft devices are custom-made for different types of vehicles. The Import Performance Auto Repair Shop uses a sheet-metal version.

“Essentially, they’re like a skid plate that goes underneath the vehicle,” Currier said. “Those cars are relatively – a lot of them are a lot lower to the ground. It just acts as skid shield cover-up plates, so it makes the catalytic converter difficult to access.”

It takes an hour or two to install the sheet metal. Currier said the company installs about a dozen a year.

I also spoke to a theft victim who recently had a catalytic converter stolen.

Tammy Rundle said, “It was the Growing Tree van, and it’s parked in our parking lot — has been for 24 years, never had anything happen. Went to get the van ready to take the kids swimming … last week. I started the engine up, and it sounded like a diesel truck on steroids. We looked underneath the van and saw a great big piece of the catalytic converter cut out.”

 Rundle explained how fast it is for people to steal.

“They told me that it takes about three minutes with a hacksaw to cut the catalytic converter out, so it’s quick and easy and they’re off,” she said. “This (anti-theft device) at least deters them, and it would take them that much longer to be able to get it. Hopefully, it keeps them away.”

If you don’t have an anti-theft device, Currier suggests that you park your car in a well-lit area around more traffic and people — or better yet, in a garage, if possible.

 The Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office told me it handled three stolen catalytic converter cases in all of last year, but already has dealt with the same number this year. 

The post ‘Hopefully, it keeps them away’: Rise in catalytic converter thefts points to use of anti-theft devices appeared first on KTVZ.

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