Texas as a whole has a problem with robbery involving catalytic converters. Catalytic converters are exhaust emission control devices attached to vehicles. State Farm ranked Texas as the 2nd highest theft rate in 2021 and was placed 4th in 2020. With over 1,000 claims being filed already, Texas sits behind only California in total converter thefts.
Dallas police stated that as of July, they had received 800 reports of catalytic converter robberies.
Dallas-Fort Worth, in particular, has seen a wave of robberies recently. A WFAA report details how thieves took 20 catalytic converters from one Irving car dealership in less than half an hour.
Owner Don Herring said that he heard the sound of a saw and that the suspects busted through the lot with speed. “About a minute per car,” Herring told WFAA. He also noted that he has heard that similar events occurred at other Dallas and Plano dealerships.
Despite Tarrant County beginning an auto task force initiative to investigate crimes further, the robberies are still lucrative. Roy Bruner, a Fort Worth auto shop owner, said, “you take the converter off a Prius, scrap…you probably can get $1,200 for it.”
Not all hope is lost for car owners, however. The North Texas Auto Theft Task Force gave CBS DFW some tips on making it more difficult for people to steal a converter.
They recommend always keeping your car inside if possible. If not, they urge owners to paint and inscribe the car’s VIN on the catalytic converter. More drastic measures such as welding the converter to your frame or adding an alarm can also provide extra security.
State Farm also warns that Toyota models, including the Prius and the Tundra, are often targeted because it is easy to remove their catalytic converters. Dallas Police urge anyone that hears suspicious sawing noises near vehicles to report the incident immediately.