ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — Catalytic converter thefts are on the rise in Illinois.
While only 284 were confirmed stolen in Illinois in 2019, according to Been Verified, that number skyrocketed to 3,820 in 2022.
In fact, data from the National Insurance Crime Bureau showed that Illinois was in the top five states in the country for catalytic converter thefts between 2020-2022.
With the threat as large as it is, residents might be wondering how they can protect themselves from having their own catalytic converter stolen.
As it turns out, there are a number of ways.
One way, according to NerdWallet, is to be aware of what kind of catalytic converters are being stolen. They said that trucks and SUVs are targeted the most since it is easy to slide under the vehicle rather than having to jack it up.
CARFAX said that the most targeted vehicles are:
- Ford F Series Truck
- Honda Accord
- Toyota Prius
- Ford Explorer
- Ford Econoline
- Chevrolet Equinox
- Chevrolet Silerado
- Toyota Tacoma
- Chevrolet Cruze
There are also different anti-theft devices that drivers can install on their catalytic converter. Ranging from $300-$800, these include a steel shield that fits over the converter, which takes time extra tools to remove.
Another option is a cage made of high-strength steel, which is difficult to cut, or stainless-steel cables that are welded from the converter to the car’s frame.
There are steps people can take that does not include messing with their car. For example, residents can install motion-sensitive lights and are recommended to park in their driveway or closed garage whenever possible.
They can also set their car’s alarm to go off if it is jostled.
Todd Foreman, director of law enforcement outreach for Scrap Recycling Industries, said to NPR that drivers could also consider painting their catalytic converter with a bright colored, high-temperature paint.
He said that this could put off a person from stealing the converter, as they would have to scrap off the paint before selling it.
“If they climb under a car and see it’s spray-painted,” Foreman said, “they know they’re more likely to be caught stealing those catalytic converters.”