Texas Tops Catalytic Converter Theft – Do You Have the Most Popular Car?
Summertime is the biggest season for vehicle theft, so it's no surprise that July is also National Vehicle Theft Prevention Month.
More than 74% of all stolen vehicles are passenger cars, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Stolen parts are also a huge issue. About a year ago, Temple police reported 26 cases of catalytic converter theft in less than three months, and thieves are still hard at work. AAA Texas reveals that claims for stolen catalytic converters have jumped 5,300% in the last 3 years.
Catalytic Converter Thefts in Texas
Catalytic converter thefts are highest in these five Texas counties: Tarrant (5th), Bexar (4th), Dallas (3rd), Fort Bend (2nd), with Harris County coming in at number one statewide.
Most Targeted Vehicles for Catalytic Converter Theft
According to Carfax, location matters. Nationwide, the top vehicle is Toyota Prius. Priuses are a prime target because they have two catalytic converters.
In the South, more sedans are in the lineup, including Dodge Avengers, while the most popular vehicle for catalytic converter theft is the Chevrolet Cruze. Specifically in the State of Texas, Toyota Tundras are a top target because they have four large catalytic converters that get higher prices than ones from most other vehicles, according to the Houston Chronicle.
Preventing Catalytic Converter Theft
Car and Driver reports that a federal bill, the bipartisan Preventing Auto Recycling Theft Act, or PART Act, is working its way through Congress. In the meantime, AAA Texas recommends the following tips to keep yourself from becoming a victim:
- When possible, park your vehicle in spots that are well-lit and close to building entrances.
- Have your converter welded into your car's frame.
- Consider engraving your VIN, or vehicle identification number, on the catalytic converter itself. This may discourage potential thieves, and if it does get taken, will alert a scrap dealer that the part was stolen, making it easier to find.
Read More: Why Catalytic Converters Are Being Stolen All Over Texas