Catalytic converter thefts are up 175% in California, State Farm report says

Finn Anderson of San Francisco was running to a doctor’s appointment when he turned the key to his 2007 Honda component and heard a strange noise.

“It made this really loud clunk-clunk-clunk-clunk sound,” he said. “Every time I pressed down on the gas it would make that sound.”

Anderson took him to a repair shop where he learned the bad news: his catalytic converter had been stolen. It cost him $ 3,200 to repair. Now he is trying to sell his car.

“If he stole it again, that would be crippling for me financially,” he said.

Catalytic converter theft claims rose 175% among State Farm customers in California from July 1, 2020 to June 30, 2021, compared to the same period last year, data from the carrier show. That means more than 6,400 catalytic converters have been stolen in the state just from State Farm customers – and a claim filed with the insurer – in 12 months.

In fact, California is the worst state for these types of flights, State Farm said. More than three out of 10 claims filed at State Farm in the past 12 months have been made in Golden State.

Nationally, thefts of catalytic converters are up 293% in terms of State farm claims filed, meaning more than 18,000 parts were stolen from State farm drivers, the insurer said.

BeenVerified evaluated data from the Office of National Crime Insurance and Google search reports and estimates that thieves stole nearly 26,000 catalytic converters between January and May 2021, USA Today reported.

According to the Office of National Insurance Crime, thefts of catalytic converters have risen even in 2020. More than 2 347 catalytic converters were stolen in December 2020, compared to 578 in the same month in 2019, while it is estimated that 14,433 were stolen in 2020 altogether. This number comes from insurance claims filed, so the number is likely higher.

What makes a catalyst converter valid? The metals it is made of, including platinum, palladium and rhodium. State Farm said the party could be worth several hundred to several thousand dollars. Some thieves even sell the part for scrap metal.

“We would also like to remind customers that there are a lot of them that they can do to reduce the risk of falling victim to this type of crime,” said Vice Farm President of State Farm in Operation, Michael T. Keating, in a statement.

Experts recommend parking your car inside a garage or at least in a well-lit area to avoid theft. You can also install an alarm system, point to a security camera in your car or record your VIN on your car’s catalytic converter. Companies also make cages that cost about $ 150 to $ 300 that can be installed around the party.

As for Anderson, he acknowledged “it could get worse.” He said he hopes he can sell his car and make back some of the money he invested in replacing the part.

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