Catalytic Converter Theft: Converting denails to admissions

Written By: Louis Senese
Sep 02, 2022

Louis Senese, our Corporate Vice President, recently published an article in Police 1 - "Catalytic Converter Theft: Converting denials to admissions (Reprinted with permission)

Catalytic converter theft is skyrocketing. They are easy to steal from a car, truck or bus in a few minutes and equally as easy to sell at remarkably high prices due to the value of a converter's metallic contents.

As of June 2022, the Money Metals Exchange valued the three metallic components inside a catalytic converter per ounce at:

  • Rhodium: $14,900
  • Palladium: $2,080
  • Platinum: $1,055

Per "Waste Advantage Magazine," a typical catalytic converter contains 1-2 grams of rhodium, 2-7 grams of palladium and 3-7 grams of platinum. There are about 28 grams in 1 ounce.

Replacing a catalytic converter is expensive, usually $2,000 or more. Typical recyclers will pay $100 to $250 per converter from conventional cars and substantially more for hybrid converters as they contain more precious metals.

It has been nearly impossible to cut the number of converter thefts. The National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) notes catalytic converters stolen annually gave increased from 1, 296 in 2018 to 14,436 in 2020.

Some states have passed laws requiring scrap metal dealers to ask for vehicle titles or other documentation before they buy used converters. However, it is very lucrative for unscrupulous metal dealers to continue purchasing stolen converters.

How Investigators Can Convert A Thief's Denials

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