LUBBOCK, Texas — It was just a few months ago the Lubbock Police Department confirmed an increased number of catalytic converters being reported stolen. Mechanics in the area said not only is it still an issue, but the damage caused by removing the part is costing car owners more than the part itself is worth.
The parts are taken because they contain 3 precious metals: platinum, palladium and rhodium. One of them is worth more than gold. Brandon’s Auto Repairs and Diesel Service’s Owner Brandon Williams said they’ve seen their fair share of cars come in with missing converters.
However, Williams said many car manufacturers are updating their newer models where the converters are being installed closer to the engine. Which makes them harder and harder to reach, let alone steal.
“It’s a very complex system,” Williams said. “And it’s very expensive.”
While some changes are being put in place to prevent catalytic converter theft, bigger vehicles still appear more vulnerable because their converters are more easily accessible.
“As you can see [pointing at a truck’s converter] literally two cuts, and they could have the whole system off of here probably within a minute,” Williams said.
While the parts are being stolen in the area and a growing issue around the country, Williams said it’s unlikely the parts are being sold here. Car shops and salvage shops are not buying them from private dealers.
“That’s what’s crazy,” Williams said. “Is to understand where they’re actually taking these things to sell them. Because I have core buyers… And hardly any of them are even buying converters anymore.”