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Toyota tops the list for the most stolen catalytic converters

What can you do to protect your car or truck? Unfortunately, there's nothing 100% effective.

LOS ANGELES — A new report shows a dramatic increase in the number of catalytic converter thefts. Thefts more than tripled from 2020 (16,660)  to 2021 (51,209). And new data shows another major jump last year to 64,000 thefts nationwide.

The most targeted automaker is Toyota (23,980) and the Prius is a major reason why because converters on the hybrid vehicle contain more precious metals than standard gas cars.

Honda comes in second with 11,697 theft, Ford at 10,794, Chevrolet at 3,626 and Mitsubishi rounds out the top five with 3,332.

The devices are valuable because they contain precious metals that can be sold on the black market. Authorities say criminals can get about 200 dollars for one of the stolen devices. But victims can pay one to three thousand dollars for a replacement.

Rodrigo Fortes has had the catalytic converter in his Toyota Prius stolen not just once, but twice.

"Honestly it was quite upsetting," said Rodrigo Fortes. 

The second theft happened even after Fortes had his mechanic install a plate under his car to keep thieves from accessing the converter, but they just cut around it.

"I feel like at this point I'm just waiting for the next time it will happen again," said Fortes. 

Security experts recommend car owners have a mechanic engrave the vin number on the converter. That could deter a thief from taking it or at least make the part traceable if they do.

Catalytic converter plates or metal guards don't necessarily have to be put on by a mechanic, you can do it on your own. 


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