The theft of catalytic converters has grown exponentially in recent years with each converter commanding between €300 and €600 on the black market, and more for high-end brands. Organised criminals are primarily targeting Toyota, Ford and Kia cars, and thefts are surging due to the industry shortages.

Figures released by the Garda Siochana  have shown a remarkable increase in recorded catalytic converter theft across the country from 79 in 2017 to 1300 in 2020.

In April 2021, Gardaí seized an incredible 2,150 catalytic converters and 14 drums of smelted catalytic converters, with a combined value of over €2 million following a raid on a business premises in Dublin. This is now the third significant seizure of catalytic converters with 300 of them found during a Dublin search operation in March 2021. That haul was valued at about €150,000 and weighs in at 1,275kg. In February 100 converters were found in another Garda raid on premises in Co Meath.

Despite there being a slight decrease of catalytic converters thefts within the later months of 2022 as we emerge from the pandemic, resulting in less idle cars for thieves to target. Catalyic converter robbery remains a constant threat for motorists and car dealerships, with Gardaí warning people to remain vigilant and park their vehicles in a locked garage if possible.

What Are Catalytic Converters?

Catalytic converters comprise of a honeycomb type structure, designed to cleanse engine fumes as they pass through the exhaust. The metal components – platinum, palladium and rhodium – have risen in value, meaning their scrap-metal worth is now high. There is also a market for converters to be used in other cars. Thieves come equipped with very large car jacks, to lift a car off the ground in seconds, and electronic tools to cut the catalytic converters from underneath the vehicles, before they flee in waiting cars.

Who Is Most At Risk?

The majority of owners with newer vehicles are most at risk here. Hybrid vehicles have two power sources, the catalytic converter is used less in a hybrid vehicle and the precious metals in the converter are less likely to corrode, which means owners of hybrid vehicles are distinctly at risk. Car dealerships are a primary target, given the large volume of vehicles on site.

Protect your Vehicles from Catalytic Converter Theft

Car dealerships need to protect against this costly threat to their business. The same is true for car rental companies and even car park operators where there could be a given amount of liability for robbery or damage.

Whilst a video surveillance system may be helpful in identifying unusual activity on-site, it is not likely to prevent the crime. For a preventive approach, proactive video monitoring (PVM) combines intelligent analytics with expert human analysis and 24/7 monitoring. Most importantly, our trained Netwatch specialists can speak directly to the intruder with a live audio warning – a proven solution that has already prevented over 80,000 crimes and counting.

Learn Why Proactive Video Monitoring Works Best

If you have a large inventory of vehicles, you are at risk for catalytic converter theft. Fencing, alarms, video surveillance and even security guards are not enough to keep thieves away from your valuable stock. Proactive video monitoring gives you the tools to deter criminals with a personalised audio warning before they have a chance to cause damage or commit a crime.

For more information on how to keep vehicles secure on your site, talk to one of our security experts today.