NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Following skyrocketing reports of catalytic converter thefts, new numbers show hope might be on the horizon.
“We’re loving seeing some negative numbers for once. For the first time in the last three years, we’re starting to see catalytic converter thefts decline, not only in Tennessee, but nationwide,” said Kerry Sherin, consumer advocate at Beenverified.com.
So far this year, catalytic converter thefts are down nearly 67% compared to last year. According to Sherin, who’s done a deep dive into the numbers, states that have imposed certain laws and harsher penalties have seen the greatest decline.
“Looking at legislation on documenting the process of buying catalytic converters from individuals, and in some cases outlawing that entirely, so that’s kind of curbing where thieves can sell them,” Sherin told News 2.
However, cases are still up in Tennessee by nearly 1,000%, compared to 2019. In many cases, Sherin said converters can be taken in under 60 seconds, with thieves after one thing.
“When the pandemic really came into full swing, we saw prices of platinum, rhodium, and palladium really skyrocket — in some cases up 1,200% — and catalytic converters actually have small concentrations of these precious metals inside of them,” Sherin explained.
As we head into the holidays, Sherin warned drivers to be careful, especially when parking vehicles overnight at hotels and airports.
“October, November, December are the worst months across the U.S., so it’s definitely going to be an interesting test as we go forth into these winter months to see if the trend stays or are we still on the decline,” Sherin said.
Beenverified.com recommends consumers look into comprehensive coverage for their cars, as often times collision insurance will not cover them. According to Sherin, paying out of pocket to replace a catalytic converter can cost roughly $3,000.