Fleet vehicle owners warned of catalytic converter thefts

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Companies that have a fleet of vehicles are being urged to take precautions against thieves who are taking catalytic converters. It might seem unusual to think that people go around stealing these items off cars, but they can be resold for a high price.

An insurance broker have recently issued a statement saying that people should take extra caution with these devices and make sure they are fully secured to the car. Not only will this mean that people are going to struggle to steal them, but it will also reduce the cost of your insurance premium.

Over the last few years, and particularly in recent months, the metals within the catalytic converter have increased in price significantly and this has meant they are more appealing to thieves who will then sell on the metals to a scrap metal dealer. In the past year the number of catalytic converters being stolen from vehicles has increased significantly.

Bluefin Insurance are a provider with 45 offices in the UK and they are the people who have issued the warning about catalytic converter theft. It is a particularly popular crime for criminals, because they can go to one location which doesn’t have adequate security, and remove the catalytic converters from several vehicles at one time.

They can then take this to a scrap metal dealer and cash in. While it can be expensive to replace this device, it is also possible that damage to your vehicle will be done during the theft, which can cost even more to repair than the device itself costs to replace.

A Bluefin spokesperson said: “Prices for scrap metal have been on a general upward path since late 2008 which, along with the global economic recession, has revived criminal interest. It may only take a few seconds for the thief to remove the converter but it can cause major disruptions to a business if several vehicles are targeted, costing a small fortune to repair and halting operations for several days.”

Vehicles that sit higher from the ground such as trucks, pickups and SUV’s are particularly vulnerable to catalytic converter theft because thieves can slide underneath without having to jack up the vehicle.

“Corporate fleets should take precautions to protect their vehicles such as storing them in a locked building or yard where possible. Installing security lighting and cameras will also act as a deterrent to thieves.”

Bluefin also suggests engraving the vehicles’ licence plate number onto the converter to make it traceable which may also make thieves think twice about taking the part and help local police investigations.

Tips to prevent catalytic converter theft

• Always park in well lit areas

• Park within a fenced area or locked building whenever possible

• Engrave licence plate number on the converter to make it traceable

• Check out the difference types of catalytic converter theft deterrent systems at your local auto parts store