Revealed: Thieves in NYC Are Stealing a Car Part That’s Worth More Than Gold

nycIf you follow the news, you probably know air pollution is a big problem. Some scientists believe air pollution could lead to global warming. Thus, the government mandates clean-air laws that limit the amount of pollution cars can produce.

This is how the catalytic converter was born. Some of the scrap metals used to make this car part are worth more money than gold.

Its theft is becoming a common problem in New York. Continue reading to discover how catalytic converters work. I’ll also share our ways to protect yourself (and your bank account) from thieves.

Auto manufacturers adopted the catalytic converter to comply with regulation introduced by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in 1975. The function of the catalytic converter is contained within its name. It converts harmful pollutants into less harmful emissions before they exit your car engine.

The nuts and bolts of this process are a bit more complicated, but you get the idea. The catalytic converter consists of scrap metals like platinum, palladium, and rhodium. Platinum is more valuable than gold, so thieves have taken note. According to the New York Times, stolen converters could be sold for $200 at a scrap yard.

It is easy to steal a catalytic converter for three key reasons. First, thieves don’t have to break into the vehicle to access the converter (that means your alarm system won’t make any noise). Second, thieves don’t have to jack up large vehicles like trucks or SUV’s to access the converter (that makes it easy to crawl underneath and saw it off). Third, the theft can be finished in less than a minute.

I don’t mean to scare you, but it is important to be aware. The NYPD offers several safety tips. I will summarize the best ones here. Park in busy, well-lit areas to discourage thieves. Find a parking spot as close to building entrances as you can. If you work in the city, secure a parking spot in a fenced in area (bonus points if there are security guards). You could also find a trusted auto shop on Mechanic Advisor to discuss additional options such as theft deterrent systems and securing that converter to your vehicle with steel.

Please share this article with the women in your life so they can be protected and informed like you.

Mechanically Yours,

Audra Fordin

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