Type "stolen U-Haul catalytic converter" into a search engine and you'll get scads of results on the issue sourced from local papers all over the country. Conduct that same search on vehicles in general and the results will be numbingly numerous, trucks and vans the victims in almost all of them because thieves can easily crawl under them. The latest spate of saw-and-grab robberies seems to stem from the New York City area, with the New York Daily News reporting that burglars have stolen more than 250 catalytic converters off U-Haul trucks in the past six months. With an estimated scrap value of $200, that means gains of at least $50,000 for the robbers compared to losses of at least $370,000 for U-Haul.

The company has 12 outdoor yards in the Bronx alone, plus Manhattan and Lower Westchester, and location owners have decided they've had enough. In addition to more lighting and surveillance at outdoor locations, converters are being tagged with a substance that can only be seen under blacklight and encased in rebar cages. While those measures could keep thieves off U-Haul lots, seeing that it takes less than a minute to steal an unprotected converter and get $200, we imagine they'll only pop up somewhere else.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 12 Comments
      lazybeans
      • 4 Months Ago

      Had a friend who had his sedan's catalytic converter stolen off the lot of his work place in socal. Lowlife scums.

      jphyundai
      • 4 Months Ago

      This sounds like an organized crime thing. One or two, maybe, for your average street thug. But hundreds leads to organized gangland participation.

      LongDucDong
      • 4 Months Ago


      Thieving bastards. Seriously, cut off one of the bastards' hands when theives are caught, simple as that. See if theyll steal again, and set an example for all the other would-be thugs out there. You steal, you lose a hand.

      808
      • 4 Months Ago

      I don't think their stealing and selling the converters themselves, they are stealing them so they can extract the platinum that's in them. Can't really believe that no one mentioned this. Platinum is selling for a little over $1400 a ounce so if each converter has about a half to one ounce of platinum in each of them then these thieves have a total of $175,000-$350,000 in their pocket. 

        Nick
        • 4 Months Ago
        @808

        its extremely difficult to extract the platinum, requiring very expensive crushing and separation process. They thieves are not stealing them to process the platinum itself, but are selling illegally to authorized recyclers who can extract the platinum.

      Spencer Razo
      • 4 Months Ago

      How much are stolen Cats going for these days? I didnt know the value other then maybe the insides of it maybe. 

      the autodude

        lasertekk
        • 4 Months Ago
        @Spencer Razo

        I've got a 'spent' one on ebay currently going for just over $40.  And it was made for a sub 2-liter engine, not very big in cat terms.

      jphyundai
      • 4 Months Ago
      The FBI should be in on this.
      Boniwy Agelas
      • 1 Month Ago

      A catalytic converter may seem like an unlikely piece of hardware to steal from a car but due to the precious metals that are found inside the catalytic converter; thieves are more interested in stealing the converter than the actual car. Stealing the converter is much easier than stealing the car. Your catalytic converter is an easy target for thieves because of the location of the catalytic converter. Mostthieves can just cut the catalytic converter from the underside of the car in a couple of minutes without a jack and using a battery powered saw.  Due to the height of most SUV’s, they are targeted more than sedans and the larger the vehicle, the larger the catalytic converter, which will contain larger amounts of precious metals than smaller cars and sedans. You can tell if you have been a victim of catalytic converter theft if when you go to start your car you hear a loud grumbling noise.  


      What makes the catalytic converter so valuable to thieves are the precious metals that our found inside the catalytic converter honeycomb filter. There are three different kind metals found inside the catalytic converter: platinum, palladium and rhodium. The amount that a thief can get on the black-market for the part depends on the size.  


      If a thief is intended on stealing your catalytic converter, it won’t matter how many precautions you take, they will steal the catalytic converter. However, there are ways that you can help protect yourself from catalytic converter theft. One of them includes parking your vehicle in a high traffic area. Thieves are less likely to target your vehicle if it is in a highly trafficked area, because someone might spot them stealing the catalytic converter and hopefully will alert authorities.


      I got a fantastic magnaflow replacement from http://newyorkcatalytic.com and couldn’t be happier with their service

      dssdbs
      • 4 Months Ago

      remove the market for it, and the thieves will quit stealing it, same goes for copper.  Crack down on the buyers, they are the ones facilitating this.