Despite new legislation and penalties, catalytic converter theft continues in Texas with no sign of slowing down. This crime is a growing problem across the US and costs victims a lot of money out of pocket for replacement. Texans can expect to pay between $900 to $2500 for catalytic converter replacement, including parts and labor. Although a felony offense in the State of Texas, thanks to House Bill 4110 signed in June 2021, catalytic converter theft is a quick and easy way for criminals to make money at the expense of vehicle owners. In just as little as 30 seconds, catalytic converter thieves can cut and remove a catalytic converter and make quick cash from its precious metals, including platinum, rhodium, and palladium, which can easily turn into $1000’s of dollars.
The National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) reports a jump from 1,298 reported catalytic converter thefts in 2018 to 14,443 claims in 2020. New data shows Texas ranks second in the US for the highest number of catalytic converter thefts, with a 400% increase since 2019. Using data from catalytic converter replacement service reports across the nation, Carfax compiled a list of the most targeted cars by region. In Texas, the list of cars includes:
The Texas legislature has taken measures to combat catalytic converter theft and amend its theft of catalytic converter Texas penal code. Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed House Bill 4110 in June 2021, effectively making catalytic converter theft in Texas a third-degree felony with criminals facing a 2 to 10 year prison sentence. The bill includes anyone who steals or buys and sells stolen catalytic converters. Effective as of September 2021, the bill also regulates metal recycling and requires proof of ownership for those attempting to sell a catalytic converter to a metal recycling entity and measures metal recycling entities must take when purchasing catalytic converters, such as maintain accurate electronic or legible written record of all purchased catalytic converters.
The NICB encourages vehicle owners to take action and protect their investment. This includes parking in well lit areas or securely in a locked garage. Installing motion sensor lights and cameras in driveways may also help deter would-be criminals. When and if you become a victim of this crime, report the incident to the police and contact your auto insurance company. We recommend all vehicle owners invest in Cat Shield™ by MillerCAT. The level of protection is unlike any other device and you can feel confident in parking your car.