Catalytic converter thefts on the rise in North Carolina

Catalytic converter thefts on the rise in North Carolina


GREENSBORO, N.C. — As Catalytic converter thefts rise across the state, Gov. Roy Cooper signed a new law into effect this month to outline a heftier punishment for these crimes. 


What You Need To Know

  • Catalytic converter theft is now a Class I Felony under Senate Bill 99, which was signed into law Dec. 1
  • Law enforcement agencies across the state are reporting an increase in catalytic converter thefts
  • Mechanics suggest etching your car’s VIN number into the converter, painting it with engine-safe paint or installing wire caging around the converter to protect against theft

Senate Bill 99 rules catalytic converter theft as a Class I felony with a mandatory $1,000 fine. This comes after rising numbers of catalytic converter thefts were reported across the state over the last year.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police reported nearly 1,500 converter thefts this year. Paul Marsh, a mechanic at Nadu’s Auto Service in Greensboro, says his shop was targeted. Thieves apparently rolled under several vehicles and cut out catalytic converters.

“It’s hard to catch them because they do it so fast, so quick,” Marsh said. 

A catalytic converter cuts down on the pollution an engine creates, stopping some of it from getting into the atmosphere.

Other mechanics say they’re being targeted for the small amounts of precious metal inside like rhodium and platinum, which can be worth thousands of dollars per ounce. 

The converter is typically located on the underside of the vehicle, making it easy for people to crawl under a pickup truck or SUV and cut out the part.

These thefts are happening in parking lots, driveways and businesses. They can cost up to $3,000 to replace.

John Dean, of Dean’s Auto Service, says supply chain issues have delayed replacing these parts. 

“I have a Toyota out front that has no release date on the converters because Toyota can’t get them over here. The manufacturing plant where they’re manufactured – their docks are down because of COVID so nothing’s moving,” Dean said. 

To protect your vehicle from catalytic converter theft, mechanics suggest etching your car’s VIN number into the converter, painting it with engine-safe paint or installing wire caging around the converter.

Local law enforcement suggests parking in a parking garage or well-lit area, getting a car alarm that senses vibration or welding the converter into the frame of the car. 



Source link