Curbing Catalytic Converter Theft

By May 25, 2023Blog
delivery truck for sale

After buying a delivery truck or work van for sale for your business, you’ll have to do more than just preventative maintenance to ensure your commercial vehicle will last a long time. You’ll also have to ensure that your vehicle is protected and secured from one of the most common auto crimes which have been increasing in frequency at an alarming rate.

Catalytic converter theft has become a significant problem in the US, with thieves targeting vehicles to steal these valuable components. Even a work van or delivery truck for sale is not safe, especially when parked in an open space.

According to data from the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB), at least 50,000 converters were stolen from cars in 2021, which is a significant increase from around 3,400 units stolen in 2019 and around 14,500 in 2020. 


To help curb catalytic converter thefts, several measures are being taken by law enforcement agencies and government authorities.


State Legislations


One of the primary steps being taken is the enactment of legislation to address catalytic converter theft. Some states have passed laws that make it illegal to possess a stolen catalytic converter while others have introduced legislation that would require scrap metal dealers to verify the identity of anyone selling catalytic converters. 


For example, legislation signed in October 2022 in New York imposes restrictions on the purchase, sale and stockpiling of catalytic converters by car dismantling businesses and scrap yards. These entities are now mandated to report every two months the number of converters they have received.


The NICB is tracking more than 85 pieces of legislation as of March 2023 from across the country that aim to curb converter thefts. Six of these legislations have been enacted while most are in the “Introduced or Prefiled” status. According to the data, Virginia, Utah, Minnesota and Arkansas are the latest states that enacted at least one new or amended piece of legislation on the matter in March 2023. 


Catalytic Converter Theft Bill


Aside from the state legislature to deter converter theft, the bipartisan bill called The Preventing Auto Recycling Thefts (PART) Act has also been introduced in the U.S. Senate in February. The bill establishes some federal rules on stamping a traceable identification number on catalytic converters in new vehicles. It also establishes federal penalties for those who are convicted of stealing a converter. Moreover, the PART Act also mandates buyers and sellers of converters to maintain records of the transactions.


The push for the catalytic converter theft bill is in response to the nationwide incidents of thefts of the devices especially in parked cars. In essence, the bill provides a codified guide to assist law enforcement in reducing converted theft.


Protect your commercial vehicle from converter thieves


Here are some tips on how to protect your truck or van from catalytic converter thieves:


  • Park in well-lit areas, as thieves prefer to work in the dark.

  • Install a catalytic converter lock. These devices make it more difficult for thieves to steal your device.

  • Etch your VIN number onto the converter as this can help law enforcement to identify the stolen part and recover it.

  • Use security cameras in your parking area to deter thieves and provide evidence if a theft occurs.

  • Add an alarm or motion sensor

  • Use parking barriers such as bollards to prevent unauthorized access to your vehicle and make it more difficult for thieves to escape.

  • Park in a garage or secure lot to ensure additional protection for your vehicle and to make your vehicle less accessible to thieves.

If you’re in search of a work van for sale or delivery truck for sale, it may be helpful to identify the most common vehicles that are often targeted by converter thieves so that you can narrow down your options.


Remember that prevention is key when it comes to protecting your work van or delivery from catalytic converter theft. Taking these simple steps can help reduce the risk of becoming a victim of this crime.