As catalytic converter thefts skyrocket, what makes them so valuable?
There's no doubt that the amount of catalytic converter thefts across the country has skyrocketed, but what makes the automotive piece so valuable?
Officials say catalytic converters are so valuable because they contain precocious metals, which thieves sell to scrap yards for cash.
According to Way.com, the prices of metals found in catalytic converters have skyrocketed since the turn of the 21st century and is one of the reasons why theft of catalytic converters is on the rise.
Precious metals found inside the auto part include platinum, palladium, and rhodium.
Large platinum nugget from Russia. (USNM 73736, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, Washington D.C., USA) (public domain photo by Chip Clark and provided by the Smithsonian Institution & the United States Geological Survey)
According to kitco.com, rhodium is worth $12,850 per ounce, palladium is $2,040 per ounce, and platinum is worth $884 per ounce as of July 2022.
News 12 obtained data which shows cities and towns in the area saw large increases in catalytic converter thefts.
Greenwich reported 41 cases this year, Stamford 149 cases and Milford 414.
AAA says they're seeing a lot of older vehicles being targeted, which end up not having full insurance coverage.
Local mechanics say the uptick started during the pandemic.
Police say the best way to protect a car against theft is to keep the vehicle in a garage.