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Tommy Brown

Catolytic Converter Thefts

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Tommy Brown

Just came up on BBC Breakfast News, about the rise in these being stolen from parked cars.

 

Seemingly, valuble metals involved in there make-up.

 

A friend told me last week, his car was parked in Uphall train station all day.

Jumped in his car to a horrendous noise. Mechanic told him the problem.

Repoorted it the police, CCTV was checked, three were stolen in less than 10 minutes.

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Mr 3 Putt

De cat, problem solved.

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milky_26

Hybrid cars are a bigger target as the platinum in them is likely to be in a better condition so more value

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Tommy Brown

An epidemic of catalytic converter theft, largely from hybrid petrol/electric cars, is now becoming a major insurance headache for their owners. Once a car owner declares they have been rejected by an insurer, finding cover elsewhere is difficult. When Guardian Money obtained insurance quotes on Taylor’s car – a 14-year-old vehicle with no previous claims – once the thefts were disclosed, the premium jumped to more than £2,200. Taylor is now wondering whether he should just write off a perfectly functioning and environmentally responsible car.Every big insurance company told Guardian Money that claims have soared. LV= said: “Between 2018 and 2019, we’ve seen more than a 600% increase in the number of claims relating to catalytic converters, with the average cost being about £1,000.”

Admiral said: “Year on year we have seen a fourfold increase in catalytic converter thefts, the majority of which have been from hybrid vehicles.”

The thieves can steal the converters from under a car in a matter of minutes – and often return once a new one has been fitted. Aviva said: “We recently replaced a catalytic converter for a London-based customer after it was stolen, only for it to be stolen again just six hours after the customer had their car back from the garage.”

Behind the theft epidemic is the soaring value of the metals used in catalytic converters, rhodium and palladium, with gangs stripping the parts and selling them overseas. In 2008, palladium sold for about $180 (£135) per ounce, but this week it was trading at $2,350, with a $300 increase in the past month.

 A Toyota Prius with a stolen catalytic converter. Photograph: CrashStock/Alamy

Last week the price of rhodium jumped above $10,000 per ounce, about six times the price of gold. This time last year it was about $2,500. Some owners of older hybrids have been told that the metal stripped from their catalytic converter is worth more than the car itself. Older hybrids are targeted as they contain more of the precious metal than newer models.

The thieves make about £300 to £500 from every converter stolen, fenced through scrap metal dealers, with car manufacturers warning that a gap in the Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013 enables dodgy dealers to buy them without checks required on where they came from. Bizarrely this crime only takes place in Britain, with an outbreak in California contained by new laws. Jenny Sims, an assistant chief constable at Cheshire police, who is leading on catalytic converter crime, tweeted this week that the police were dealing with the issue urgently, saying: “The links to SOC [serious and organised crime] are clear and can be terrifying for victims.”

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