ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — The National Insurance Crime Bureau is reporting more than 52,000 catalytic converters were stolen from cars in 2021.
That’s an increase of 1200% since 2019.
You’re a top target if you own a Toyota Prius, Subaru Forester, or Honda Element, officials said, because lower emission cars have a higher concentration of valuable metals in their converters.
Catalytic converters convert harmful gasses from the engine into less harmful gasses. They have been required on all cars since 1975.
The devices contain rare earth materials such as platinum, palladium, or rhodium, making them valuable to thieves.
In addition, police also say transport vans and commerical vehicles are also high-value targets because of their higher ground clearance.
A thief can remove the device in 30 seconds, police said.