Hudson Valley police are reporting a rise in thefts of catalytic converters from cars. Why do they want them and what can you do to make sure not to get robbed?

What's a catalytic converter?

Most of you probably haven't looked under your car. I know I haven't been under there aside from retrieving the occasional basketball for my son. There's a whole bunch of pipes and things under your vehicle that are part of the exhaust system. The catalytic converter is a part of that system that regulates emissions from your car.

Advance Auto Parts
Advance Auto Parts
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Why do thieves want them?

Thieves have been reportedly taking catalytic converters from cars because of the rare metals they contain. In January New York State Police was looking for help for a man who was captured taking the part from cars near Ithaca. Now, the Yorkers Police Department is reporting thefts right here in the Hudson Valley. Platinum, rhodium, and palladium are hidden within the part, which can be sold for a profitable sum. According to a search on Advance Auto Parts, depending on your car's make and model the part can cost you thousands of dollars, and that's without labor.

Portrait of a mechanic repairing a lifted car
Minerva Studio
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How do I protect myself from having a catalytic converter stolen?

Due to a recent uptick in thefts in the Hudson Valley area, police departments are instructing residents to be more vigilant. The Yonkers police department is offering several suggestions such as having your VIN number engraved on the part to thwart thieves from stealing them. They also recommend parking in a garage or secured area when possible or moving your car to a well lit public area at night. Car owners can also have a cage installed over the catalytic converter or employ other theft deterrent devices to make it harder for thieves to remove it.

Yonkers Police Department
Yonkers Police Department
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Bottom line

It's always a good idea to make sure your car is left in a secure area, but even more so now that catalytic converter thefts appear to be on the rise.

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