‘It’s everywhere’: Catalyst thefts on the rise – KMBC Kansas City | CarTailz

It’s been less than a week since Kelli Latham returned from holiday with her husband. “We came back to a very noisy truck on Sunday,” Latham said. “It was just really loud, booming.” While they were gone, thieves in KCI Airport’s economy parking lot stole the catalytic converter from their truck. “They did additional damage when they shut it down and we’re going to have to get a whole new silencer system because of their way of cutting it off,” she said. Repairs cost over $8,000 before insurance and you’re looking at two weeks without this car. “It’s just so frustrating and has been a frustration for us and will continue to be for the next two weeks until we can get it back,” Latham said. Such thefts happen everywhere. “We’ve seen such a dramatic increase — over 400% since 2019 in catalytic converter thefts,” said Gina Wilken, public affairs specialist at State Farm. “It’s all very, very prominent, and the numbers are skyrocketing.” In Missouri alone, State Farm paid $1.2 million in stolen catalyst claims last year. Across the country, they paid $70.6 million. They expect to pay even more this year. “Sometimes it takes six to eight months for these to be replaced,” Wilken said. “So it’s not just the cost of replacing the catalytic converter on your car, it’s all the incidental expenses that accumulate as a result of this theft.” If you park your car at home, State Farm recommends leaving it in the garage or under lights — the brighter the better. If you leave it in a more public area, they recommend engraving the car’s VIN number on the converter. Then, when thieves take it to a junkyard, buyers can look it up, see it was stolen, and get no money for it. “You can’t put a cut converter back on your car, but at least you know the criminal isn’t going to get away with what he did,” Wilken said. She also recommended paying for a cage around the converter to make it harder for thieves to cut it off. Latham hopes others will be more careful about where they park their cars so they don’t come back from vacation frustrated. “With the holidays coming up, I don’t want anyone else to come back and have this problem with their vehicle. I just want people to know it’s happening there,” Latham said. The Kansas City Department of Aviation released a statement saying catalytic converter thefts were a problem statewide but that it was being proactive in preventing thefts by increasing patrols and adding more security cameras.

It’s been less than a week since Kelli Latham returned from holiday with her husband.

“We came back to a very noisy truck on Sunday,” Latham said. “It was just very loud, booming.”

While she was away, thieves in KCI Airport’s economy parking lot stole the catalytic converter from her truck.

“They did additional damage when they cut it off and we have to get a whole new silencer system because they cut it off,” she said.

Repairs cost over $8,000 before insurance and they’re looking at two weeks without this car.

“It’s just so frustrating and has been a frustration for us and will continue to be for the next two weeks until we can get it back,” Latham said.

Such thefts happen everywhere.

“We’ve seen such a dramatic increase — over 400% since 2019 in catalytic converter thefts,” said Gina Wilken, public affairs specialist at State Farm. “It’s all very, very prominent and the numbers are skyrocketing.”

In Missouri alone, State Farm paid $1.2 million in stolen catalyst claims last year. Across the country, they paid $70.6 million. They expect to pay even more this year.

“Sometimes it takes six to eight months for these to be replaced,” Wilken said. “So it’s not just the cost of replacing the catalytic converter on your car, it’s all the incidental expenses that accumulate from that theft.”

If you park your car at home, State Farm recommends leaving it in the garage or under lights—the brighter the better.

If you leave it in a more public area, they recommend engraving the car’s VIN number on the converter. Then, when thieves take it to a junkyard, buyers can look it up, see it was stolen, and get no money for it.

“You can’t put your car back in with a shut down converter, but at least you know the criminal isn’t going to get away with what he did,” Wilken said.

She also recommended paying to have a cage placed around the converter to make it harder for thieves to cut it off.

Latham hopes others know better where to park their cars so they don’t return from vacation frustrated.

“With the holidays coming up, I don’t want anyone else to come back and have this problem with their vehicle. I just want people to know it’s happening there,” Latham said.

The Kansas City Department of Aviation released a statement saying that while catalytic converter theft was a problem statewide, it was taking a proactive approach to preventing theft by increasing patrols and adding more surveillance cameras.

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