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I was listening to an interview on the radio this morning. Well sort of listening, until I realized the topic was preventing converter theft. I have a Toyota truck and keep a close eye on it. A policeman was being interviewed and explained how difficult it was to stop this crime. If they pull over somebody with a back seat full of converters they can't do much. They can't prove they are stolen so the thief just drives away. Innocent until proven guilty, not any specific laws on the books yet to address this crime. I missed most of the interview getting ready for a job interview myself. The one thing I did hear was this. Several police departments around the country are promoting a way to combat this crime. What he said people need to do is get an engraver, etcher or and permanently mark your vin number on your converter. I have an old engraver. He said however you can manage to get that number carved into the surface of your converter(s). Then buy a can of high temperature spray paint in a bright flashy color. Any color that stands out. Orange, lime green, whatever. He said if the police see that, it is reasonable cause to check it while it is right in front of them. Your vin and and address are on your car insurance. He said he can track down their phone number and call a person with the vin number. Then tell them to not hang up and ask them to go start their car. If it sounds terrible let him know right now. He said that is enough evidence to make an arrest on the spot. It also works at the scrap yard that buys stolen converters. I guess there is a possibility of getting your converter back too, I don't know.
I plan to do this when I get my transit in a couple weeks, it's on the production line now. A can of paint is less than $10 and I have an old engraver I did my tools with. You could use a small hobby grinder or just about anything to mark it. This sounded like such a good idea I wanted to share it here. It does not stop theft by itself no. It does make it easier to arrest the thief. And it will make it harder for him to sell if he does steal it. Scrap yards will know it can easily be proven to be stolen property. It also could possibly lead to eventual return of your converter.
Could be an opportunity for a young person to start a small business. Like the kids going around painting your address on the curb out front. Go door to door at $25 a vehicle? I suggested to the dealership they could offer this for a fee at delivery this afternoon talking to Kayla. She said they had just had a meeting about the same problem there on the lot. They were looking into what could be done to prevent it when I called.
 

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Fortunately the Transit's cat is tucked up where it's impossible to fit a sawzall or angle grinder. Haven't heard of any getting stolen from a Transit.

Toyotas are a favorite for some reason. Tacomas are easy picking due to the high clearance and ease of crawling underneath. We had our company Tacoma stolen off our parking lot at work just today, broad daylight, right next to my boss's office window (sadly nothing surprises us in Oakland). I suspect they were only after the cat. Priuses are also a prime target, while hard to get underneath, the cats are supposedly cleaner and more valuable due to the hybrid powertrain. At least that's what the cops told my brother, who had his stolen. Again, in Oakland.

I live in the suburbs, and my next door neighbor chased off a guy trying to steal a cat off his lifted pickup. Some lady in my town got shot confronting a cat thief. You better come out guns a blazin' or just let them have the **** thing.

I found a company that makes a steel skidplate for my Bronco Sport, and I wasted no time installing one. It was a bit expensive, but far cheaper and less trouble than replacing a hastily chopped out converter. It's not impossible to steal, with 15 minutes and a lot of noise they would have it, but any thief will choose the easier target down the street.
 

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I would not hit the Cat with a hammer, The honeycomb inside it is made out of ceramic. I took one apart once to see what was inside it.

On the passenger side my running board hangs down so low that it is impossible to crawl under it, So that side of the van is protected.
Luverne Grip-Step
 

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If this is truly a deterrent, then car manufacturers should start adding the VIN to the CATs. Just spitballing
That would cut into their business. Just a guess the #'s on engine block and transmission (is that still a thing?) might be required by law. Doubtful the current congress will pass any legislation. Still can't hurt to contact your representative. Perhaps some public pressure from the insurance industry?
 

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If this is truly a deterrent, then car manufacturers should start adding the VIN to the CATs. Just spitballing
This might happen with enough demand from the consumer market, but for now preventing catalytic converter theft would put a serious dent in their bottom line. You can be sure that they are making a fortune off of replacement converters.

It has created a demand for a new product. Catalytic Converter | Difficult | Cut | Cat Clamp This looks like it would at least slow someone down... enough that they may look at it and move on to the next vehicle.
 
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