Washington YouTuber Scares Thieves Trying to Steal Catalytic Converters
ccording to Washington’s King County Sheriff’s Office, the catalytic convertor of the fuel-efficient Toyota Prius hybrid car fetches at least $1,100 when sold to scrap metal dealers. This is a stark contrast to the cost of replacing the catalytic convert that the victim incurs which can be as high as $2,000.
The City of Seattle, WA, and the western part of the State have been experiencing a worrying wave of catalytic convertor theft cases that have overwhelmed the Seattle Policy Department leaving the unfortunate victims with no recourse. Data shows that as of 26th January 2021, 126 catalytic convertors have been plucked from vehicles. Comparatively, in 2020, 786 cases were reported which was a sharp increase from 13 cases recorded for 2019. According to Gerard Thai, a concerned resident of Seattle’s Fremont, the burglaries usually take place in the wee hours of the night between midnight and 7:00 AM.
Keeping burglars at bay
The worrying reports show that the crime is alluring to criminals because of the high cost of rare metals used on catalytic convertors such as palladium, rhodium, and platinum. There is a supply chain disruption following the outbreak of the covid 19 pandemic as well as increased demand for eco-friendly hybrid vehicles that are increasing the prices for these inputs.
Following a break-in on his truck where thieves were unable to make away with anything as he had left no valuables on the vehicle, Gerald Thai embarked on a mission of propping up the security at his parking lot. He installed cameras at specific angles and configured them to start recording on detecting motion on the parking lot.
With a mobile application to alert him about movements on the parking yard, Thai has been able to thwart several attempts of catalytic convertor theft as well as theft of other car parts. In one of the viral YouTube videos, Thai, armed with a baseball bat, can be seen chasing after a suspected thief who had jerked a car ready to cut off the catalytic convertor.
The alleged thief then dashes to his car where Thai runs amok pursuing the man while smashing the suspect’s car windows. The thief hops into a car and drives off, thwarting a possible loss that could have added to the already worrying statistics.
Even though Thai was also armed with a gun for self-protection, the police are urging members of the public to be calling the police instead of confronting the would-be burglars caught red-handed. The Seattle Police Department however cautions the community against resorting to taking the law into their own hands for their security.
Nonetheless, car owners in Western Washington are urged and advised to park in well-lit corners to deter burglars. Additionally, the catalytic converter can be protected by clamping it to the frame of the vehicle to make it more strenuous for thieves to execute their mission.
On the other hand, scrap metal declares should also shun buying unverified catalytic convertors and, in the case, they do, they must properly document the seller for future reference. Buyers of catalytic converters are also advised to avoid buying resale parts to reduce the profitability of the illegal trade.