The catalytic converter is part of the exhaust system located underneath the car and serves as an emissions regulation device. Thieves target the part because it contains precious metals, is lightweight, and is easy to remove.
The problem has gotten worse with the increase in the price of precious metals. According to a study by the National Insurance Crime Bureau, catalytic converter thefts in the U.S. increased 426% between 2019 and 2020, and unfortunately Hawaii drivers have not been spared.
Follow these tips to reduce your risk of catalytic converter theft:
- Park in well-lit areas or in areas with high pedestrian traffic.
- If and when possible, park in a garage and not on the street.
- Park strategically to prevent easy access underneath your car, for example close to fences, walls or curbs.
- Park in areas where there are security cameras or install one for your driveway.
- Inscribe the converter with your Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) and install a sticker in your back window indicating that your catalytic converter is marked.
- If your catalytic converter is bolted on, ask a local garage to weld the bolts to make it more difficult to remove.
- Install a security device to the converter to make it harder to steal.
- Install a car alarm. If you have a security system on your car, calibrate it to activate with vibration.
- Check your car insurance. Comprehensive insurance covers stolen auto parts, minus your deductible amount. If you carry liability coverage only, you’re not covered for theft.