Catalytic converter theft is on the rise with an overall increase of 58% compared to last year. This surge in serious crime comes as a result of a spike in the value of precious metals contained within the catalytic converters themselves. The issue of catalytic converter theft has caught the attention of BBC Midlands who recently aired a news report featuring the Service team at Brindley Honda Cannock.
Observing the rise in catalytic converter theft back in 2020, Brindley Honda began stocking and installing 'CAT Shields' to help prevent access to the catalytic converter. Stuart Bateman, Assistant Service Manager at Brindley Honda Cannock appeared in the BBC report, aired on 26th May 2022 and gave insight into why the crime is becoming more prevalent in the area.
Stuart told the BBC; "some of the catalysers can fetch between £200 to £300 in scrap value, because of the materials contained within the catalyser. Some of those materials are becoming rare worldwide, which has caused their value to increase sharply. Some of the materials are now worth more than gold." Converters are now being stolen from hospital and supermarket car parks, but most thefts occur while cars are parked at home. Research from the RAC found that the crime now accounts for 3 in 10 thefts from private vehicles in the UK.
Brindley Honda is working with Staffordshire Police in using 'Smart Water' on the catalytic converters - If it is then stolen and taken to a scrap dealer it can be identified. As a preventative measure, a metal shield known as a 'CAT Shield' can be installed on the underside of the car to make it harder for thieves to access as most converters are removed from the vehicle in just a minute.