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This is the car most thieves look for

Catalytic converters, especially those of Toyota Prius, have become a common target of thieves, as they contain metals with high resale value

Car

A wave of car robberies has become a concerning trend all over the world. Catalytic converters have become a common target of thieves, as they contain metals with high resale value.

Taxi drivers in Madrid have become repeat targets. Robbers can cut the catalytic converter out from beneath the vehicle in just a few seconds. The pieces have a high value on the black market, as the cost of raw materials has increased significantly.

The most coveted brand

Thieves attack taxis because many of them are Toyota models. The catalytic converter of a Toyota Prius is worth anywhere from $1,900 to $3,000. In 2022, the municipal police of Spain’s capital reported the detention of a man after a car chase. Inside his vehicle, they found the tools necessary for stealing catalytic converters, among them a hydraulic jack and electric saw.

In the United States, where this new theft fad is also spreading like wildfire, ideas like stamping the car number on the catalytic converter, or making the sale of the parts illegal, have been suggested.

However, it’s not hard to find protectors for the pieces online in order to keep your car safe. The company Catshield, for example, sells a protective shield for $200.

Why are catalytic converters so expensive?

Criminal groups tend to steal catalytic converters because of the value of their metals. The parts contain sodium, palladium and platinum, and they react with atmospheric oxygen to transform harmful emissions into nitrogen, carbon dioxide and water vapor.

The catalytic convertor contains valuable metals.
The catalytic convertor contains valuable metals.

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