Tips from AAA to avoid catalytic converter thefts

Recently, Baltimore police are noticing a rise in catalytic converter thefts. It’s not a new crime, but it is becoming more common in many areas because of what the precious metals inside converters are worth.11 News spoke with experts from AAA about how to keep your car safe. Ben Perricone knows a catalytic converter like the back of his hand.”Why are thefts on the increase? Money,” Perricone, the territory manager for AAA Approved Auto Repair Program, said. “They’ll just hack through and take that canister and off they go.”Inside the Abingdon AAA Center, the approved auto repair manager went over why the exhaust system device next to your motor is such a hot item for criminals right now. “Meat and potatoes is three precious metals in catalytic converters — platinum, palladium and rhodium,” Perricone said.Precious metals, all worth thousands per ounce at the moment.”Before anybody goes and saws off their catalytic converter, there’s only a few grams in any one particular catalytic converter, so the lottery’s not hanging out under your vehicle,” Perricone said. But for a thief, nabbing a few can add up quickly.”That’s what the criminals are looking for is that ceramic grid right there,” Perricone said.With catalytic converter thefts on the rise, AAA experts say now is the time to take extra precautions.”The best thing is keep your car in a secure location. Off the street if possible. In your garage would be best,” Perricone said.Police also recommend parking in well-lit areas, etching your VIN number onto the converter or even welding it to your vehicle. Also, have a professional install a cover over it.Hybrid vehicles are often a bigger target, especially if you have a Toyota Prius, because their converters contain more of the precious metals.

Recently, Baltimore police are noticing a rise in catalytic converter thefts. It’s not a new crime, but it is becoming more common in many areas because of what the precious metals inside converters are worth.

11 News spoke with experts from AAA about how to keep your car safe. Ben Perricone knows a catalytic converter like the back of his hand.

“Why are thefts on the increase? Money,” Perricone, the territory manager for AAA Approved Auto Repair Program, said. “They’ll just hack through and take that canister and off they go.”

Inside the Abingdon AAA Center, the approved auto repair manager went over why the exhaust system device next to your motor is such a hot item for criminals right now.

“Meat and potatoes is three precious metals in catalytic converters — platinum, palladium and rhodium,” Perricone said.

Precious metals, all worth thousands per ounce at the moment.

“Before anybody goes and saws off their catalytic converter, there’s only a few grams in any one particular catalytic converter, so the lottery’s not hanging out under your vehicle,” Perricone said.

But for a thief, nabbing a few can add up quickly.

“That’s what the criminals are looking for is that ceramic grid right there,” Perricone said.

With catalytic converter thefts on the rise, AAA experts say now is the time to take extra precautions.

“The best thing is keep your car in a secure location. Off the street if possible. In your garage would be best,” Perricone said.

Police also recommend parking in well-lit areas, etching your VIN number onto the converter or even welding it to your vehicle. Also, have a professional install a cover over it.

Hybrid vehicles are often a bigger target, especially if you have a Toyota Prius, because their converters contain more of the precious metals.