Monday, June 16, 2008

Has Anyone Seen My Husband's CC??

My husband wakes me at 4:00 a.m. "honey, I need to take your car today, someone took my catalytic converter". Sure enough. There's platinum in the things..which helps decrease pollution. Platinum is going for $2075. an ounce right now..and there are about 7 ounces in one converter. I guess they can be sold for about 150 bucks each. They are probably buying gasoline with the $.

Who Knew?

What does a truck sound like when you start it..and it does not have a CC? VERY LOUD. The thieves did leave behind a gasket and what looks to be about 5 bolts. Below is an article I found while searching. Apparently, Toyota trucks and SUV's are targets of these assholes. It will cost $1100.00 to fix it...we have insurance but ....

Catalytic converter theft
Tuesday January 15, 2008
I am now officially a victim, and I'm writing to warn you -- watch out for catalytic converter thieves. They just might be roaming your neighborhood tonight.
I've written a lot about Moose, my 1994 Toyota 4Runner. Well, today I hopped in the driver's seat ready for a trip to the dog park, and when I turned the ignition I immediately knew that something was wrong. Moose's normally placid exhaust note was replaced by a blat that sounded like an unmufflered motorcycle. I turned off the key, and went to investigate. Sure enough, I found four bolts and an exhaust hanger on the ground under my SUV. Someone had crawled underneath, unbolted my catalytic converter and absconded.
I had to laugh at the irony of the situation. Just this weekend, I had mentioned this article from the Los Angeles Times to Aaron Gold,'s Guide to Cars, while we were doing a little bit of work on his car. Apparently, catalytic converter theft is an epidemic across the country because the price of platinum, one of the metals in the converter, has skyrocketed. Thieves can get $40 to $50 for a converter from an unscrupulous scrap metal dealer. Toyota 4Runners are particular targets -- not only do their catalytic converters contain plenty of platinum, their high ground clearance makes them particularly easy targets. A thief with a socket wrench can remove a 4Runner's converter in minutes.
When I called the police to report the crime, Officer Padilla told me that I was the second victim in the area this week. My insurance agent told me that his girlfriend's 4Runner was stripped in a department store parking lot; the service manager at the Toyota dealership called it "an epidemic."
The bad news is that it's going to cost over $1100 to affect the repair and replacement. The worse news is that there's not much I can do to protect against another theft. I'm having the dealership weld the bolts on, so that the converter won't be so easy to remove. But a thief with a reciprocating saw can still swipe a cat in no time flat.
I guess Moose has finally earned that spot in the garage that he's been coveting for so long. At least until I can install an alarm on his catalytic converter.
A word to the wise -- keep an eye on your 4Runner. Park in your garage at home, park in conspicuous spots at malls and department stores. Keep an ear out for your alarm, and check your insurance coverage to make sure that you don't get burned. Let's hope that the police can put some pressure on scrap metal dealers to kill the market for these parts before catalytic converter theft spins completely out of control.


Mike S said...

The thieves are even coming up here. At our shop they tel;l me they've been doing a rather brisk business welding them to the exhaust pipes in hopes it'll make the a**holes move on to easier pickings.

Philippine Prudential said...

Those thieves are really annoying.