You hear a lot about catalytic converter thefts in Portland.  And it’s true…  thousands upon thousands of these thefts have been reported just this year.  But it does make you wonder…  how worth it is it to steal these?

Pretty worth it, actually.

This is a podcast where Savannah Eadens from OregonLive investigates and really gets into this very specific theft.

According to her, these things are ultimately worth $200-$300 to rare metal re-sellers.  And since the theft only takes about 3 minutes to pull off, and a little bit of homework to scout out locations, it actually pencils out for these criminals.  Now, that’s not to say every theft results in that much money…  there are usually intermediaries who they have to go through to get that money, and those middle-men take their cuts.  But even at let’s say $100/per…  it makes sense for these people to steal these things.

A question I had was…  wait, didn’t we outlaw the re-selling of these in Oregon?  Yeah, we did… but there are still legit ways to skirt that law; legit ways that need to exist to not hurt small businesses that have to deal in used car parts.  But all it takes is “knowing a guy.”  If you know the right people, you can get some money under the table from unscrupulous small businesses (who stand to gain), and everybody wins…  except the victim of the theft.

At any rate…  you should probably take some precautions to make sure you don’t get your catalytic converter stolen.  The best thing you can do it park in a garage.  If you can’t do that, park in a well-lit area with motion detectors.  If you can’t do that, install a guard under your car to try and deter them.  If you can’t do that…  I guess set aside a little money each month to replace your catalytic converter when it gets stolen.  Not much you can really do.

~Jake from 98.7 The Bull


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