SEATTLE (Scrap Monster): The catalytic converter thefts are on the rise, primarily on account of sky-high prices of precious metals such as platinum, palladium and rhodium, noted the ISRI2021 online workshop conducted by the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI).
Citing the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) data, the catalytic conveter theft claims had averaged 118 per month in 2018. However, the number of claims filed rose significantly to touch 2,347 in December last year. This figure is likely to go higher, as it does not include unreported crimes, cases where claims are not filed by owners of the vehicle or cases where the claims do not explicitly identify the converter.
The high prices of precious metals contained in catalytic converters are seen alluring thieves. For instance, platinum is worth $1,200 per ounce. The prices of palladium and rhodium too are at their peak, at $2,500 per ounce and $28,000 per ounce respectively. Moreover, it is said that catalytic converters are easy to remove and are not easily identifiable once they are sold into the market.
The workshop noted that recyclers have a key role to play in tackling thefts, as the stolen materials generally reach them. A much more efficient collaboration between law enforcement authorities and recyclers could deliver a huge change.