ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — According to CarFax, as many as 153,000 catalytic converters were stolen in 2022 and the actual number may be much higher.

CarFax released a report after its data scientists crunched the numbers, looking beyond thefts that were reported as part of insurance claims.

The team found that many thefts aren’t reported because some car owners either don’t have insurance at all, or only have comprehensive coverage, which would cover the damage.

Catalytic converters are devices that are part of a vehicle’s exhaust system and remove some pollutants.

They contain precious metals, including platinum, palladium, and rhodium, which are in high demand. A catalytic converter can contain fewer than 6 grams of all three combined.

CarFax said thieves can make between $25 and $300 for a catalytic converter.

The report found that thieves target the Ford F-Series lineup tops the list, followed by the Honda Accord, the Toyota Prius, Honda CR-V, Ford Explorer, Ford Ecoline, Chevrolet Equinox, Chevrolet Silverado, Toyota Tacoma, and Chevrolet Cruze.

But, CarFax noted that certain types of cars were targeted more frequently in different geographic regions.

In the Midwest, the most targeted vehicles were: the Ford F-Series, Chevrolet Equinox, Honda CR-V, Toyota Prius, Ford Ecoline, Ford Explorer, Buick Encore, Chevrolet Cruze, Chevrolet Trax, and Honda Accord.

CarFax also pointed out that these models represent some of the best-selling cars in the U.S.

You can see the full CarFax rankings here.

Cars that have had their catalytic converter removed will have a loud exhaust sound, a darker exhaust, sluggish acceleration, and a check engine light will display.

CarFax also recommended having a muffler shop etch your Vehicle Identification Number on the converter and spray it with highly-visible high heat paint as a deterrent, which can allow law enforcement to track the converter.