Do you ever see something on social media or on the news and think how did I not know about that? I actually had one of those moments this morning after reading something that was shared in a Facebook group I follow. I never knew that people stolen catalytic converters off cars.

I have been a car owner for decades and my family in the Midwest actually owned a wrecker service and repair shop and I guess some how this one got by me, thankfully maybe because I never had it happen. Unfortunately, that is not the case recently if you read the comments people are making about the incident that happen in New Paltz this week.

It turns out this topic has been in the news a lot an somehow I missed it so I thought I would share it incase you are like me and hearing it for the first time too. Yes, people actually crawl under your car and steal a piece of it. A very expensive piece of it. It also happens to be one they can scrap for good money.

So what is a catalytic converter?

It is part of your car's exhaust system. The catalytic converter is the part that converts toxic emissions from your car into less toxic gases before it exits the car. It is located near your muffler.

So why would someone steal a catalytic converter?

Turns out they are worth a nice chunk of change. They are scraped for the precious metals they have inside like platinum, palladium or rhodium according to allstate.com. Apparently they go for around $200. FYI it cost over a thousand to get one replaced. They metals they have inside keep increasing in value so there are actually crime rings that go around areas to steal the auto part right from under your car.

How can you protect your car?

Allstate.com and The Spruce both suggest that you take precautions like parking your car in the garage or in a well lit area. Another suggestion is you back it in so that the would be thief can't crawl under the car that easily. Their are protective plates you can get and you can also have your cars VIN number put on the parts that ways if it gets stolen it can be traced.

According to what I have seen today on the internet this practice of stealing catalytic converters has been going on for quite a while in the Hudson Valley. Obviously, the latest hot spot is New Paltz. So if you are leaving your car somewhere especially overnight try to put it in plain sight. You might be wondering how you would know if this part is missing off your car, it turns out you will know as soon as you start your car. It will be noticeably louder.

If yours does get stolen make sure your notify the police and your insurance company. Depending on your policy the replacement might be covered.

Some of these cars were around before they had catalytic converters

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