Catalytic Theft in Bay Area
If you're on this page, you may already know about this because it has happened to you. If you are unaware about what is happening then hopefully this helps.
In the recent years now, there has been a string of catalytic converter thefts within the east bay and some parts of the greater bay area. The prime target of this is Toyota Priuses of all years and models, but we are also seeing thefts on vehicles like Toyota 4runners, Tacomas, Tundras, Honda Accords and civics, Elements, and many more others. Someone figured out a way to lift the car on a jack, unbolt part of the exhaust and cut another portion, then make off with the catalytic converter before anyone is aware of it. This has been happening a lot and we still see it happening today. The precious metals in the catalytic converter are worth decent money at a scrap yard, and the part is untraceable back to the car.
If your catalytic converter has been stolen, it will be very obvious. once the engine starts, the car will be MUCH louder than normal, and honestly may be startling at first.
This is unfortunately a very expensive repair. California Laws make it so that we have to use C.A.R.B (california air resource board) Compliant Catalytic converters. For many cars this means going through the dealer for parts which can get very expensive.
We do work with insurance companies to repair this issue. And we recommend that route if possible, as out of pocket this repair costs about $2600 or more depending on the vehicle. To that same effect please call your insurance today to check if you have coverage for catalytic converter theft.
When these thefts first started up, everyone was scrambling to find the best way to protect people's catalytic converters from getting stolen again. We saw everything from cable, rebar, chains, and modified bolts to prevent someone from being able to cut through the piping or remove the bolts holding it in place. Unfortunately not much was proving effective, as some of these modified cats were still being stolen.
However, there is now a much more secure option for protecting yourself from this expensive repair. A company called Cap City Muffler has developed what they call the CAT SECURITY™
This product is a thick aluminum sheet that is secured under the car using some of the original hardware, as well as rivets and stainless steel one-way security fasteners. So far, out of all the methods of protection offered, this seems to be the best way to protect yourself and your Vehicle from would be thieves.
Once installed, it would make it nearly impossible for someone to steal the catalytic converter. To remove the shield they would have to cut through at least 2 feet of aluminum which is going to act like a giant speaker diaphragm, amplifying that cutting noise to almost deafening levels.
We STRONGLY recommend having us install one as a preventative measure, as at this point is less of an "if" and more of a "when" your catalytic converter is going to be stolen. We have unfortunately witnessed a handful of instances where someone has opted not to install a defender of any kind and later had their own cat stolen.
Parts and labor to install a CAT SECURITY™ Very for each car, and most can be done while you wait. Please give us a call at (510)524-1911 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule an appointment with us. We cannot take walk-ins on this job as we may need to order in the CAT SECURITY™ which can take 3-4 days.