What Clovis PD says you can do to help protect yourself against catalytic converter theft

Catalytic Converter thefts have become a common trend in the United States, and in Clovis it’s no different.

In 2021, there were 257 recorded thefts in Clovis. Through September of 2022, there have been 128 thefts reported, on par to match last year’s numbers according to Clovis Police Department Public Information Officer Ty Wood.

It may not be the ideal thing to hear, but anyone with a car can be a victim of catalytic converter theft. According to Wood, the metals inside the part, which is located underneath the car, are worth a lot of money and the process to steal one can take just a couple of minutes.

“The reason this is such a popular crime is that it’s quick, easy and it pays out,” Wood said.

While the chances of being the victim of catalytic converter theft will always be around, the Clovis Police Department recommends the following tips to decrease the likelihood of becoming a victim:

Park inside your garage

This might be one of the easiest ways to protect yourself from any auto crime.

“I would say nearly 100% of the cars that have a catalytic converter stolen are not parked in the garage,” Wood said. “Clean your stuff out that you’re never going to use, put it in storage, give it away, sell it, have a garage sale. Clean out your garage, and park your car in there.”

If parking in a garage isn’t an option, Wood advises parking in well-lit areas.

Aftermarket devices

A catalytic converter cage is welded or mounted into the bottom of your car to protect your catalytic converter. This might be quite pricy, but it will be less expensive than getting a new catalytic converter for your car.

“If they see it, and it’s a deterrent, they’re gonna move on and go to the next easy target,” Wood said.

Spray paint and engrave

These methods will also serve as deterrents. Wood said spray painting a catalytic converter with heat resistant paint will make it less appealing to criminals because the value of the metal will drop. 

Engraving the catalytic converter with a vin number or license plate number will not only serve as a deterrent but in some cases, it can become a way to identify a catalytic converter for its owner if it is ever recovered. 

No matter how small a crime is, Wood said to be sure to report it in order to help keep the community safe.

“We really need to know when someone has been the victim of a crime and don’t think a crime is too small to report it. Please pick up the phone, call us make that police report. So we know where to concentrate our efforts on.”

Jesús Cano spent five years covering high school sports in the Bay Area, which included bylines in the Mercury News, East Bay Times and Brentwood Press. Jesús transferred to Fresno State in 2020 to pursue his education in journalism and hopes one day be a beat reporter covering a professional sports team. He is originally from Pittsburg (No H), California, a suburb community in the Bay Area.