Photo Credit: USA Today/ Torrance Police Department

Across the country, the theft of catalytic converters stolen out of vehicles is on the rise. 

A catalytic converter, known as a cat, is a device found under a vehicle that controls emissions exhaust. 

The reason it is so attractive to thieves is the precious metals that are used to make it work. Platinum, rhodium, and palladium are bought and sold like gold and copper. Palladium is often more expensive than gold, and rhodium, at times, has been more than four times more valuable than gold.

SGI has seen a drastic spike in claims for catalytic converter thefts, the amount of claims from last year has tripled.

Thieves are also getting more confident, with security cameras filming them crawling under vehicles with tools such as a cordless saw, sometimes in broad daylight. SUVs are especially targeted since they are higher off the ground, making it easier to crawl under and reach the cat quickly.

It’s been reported that converters are being sold on the black market since recyclers require ID. Other times, sellers post ads on social media, meet up and do the sale in cash.

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