Catalytic converter theft

Learn about the role your business plays in preventing catalytic converter theft, why it’s important to have a security strategy, and how ESI Fire & Security can help.


Catalytic converter theft is a big problem in today’s society. The thefts that occur are an industry-wide issue, and it affects everyone from car owners to rental car companies. According to NICB Informer, in 2021, catalytic converter theft claims in the U.S. increased a staggering 1,215% while car theft rose 17%. State Farm reports that theft has risen over 400% since 2019. As a business owner, you can take steps to prevent catalytic converter theft. In this blog post, we’ll talk about some tips to help you prevent catalytic converter theft while making your business safer.


Understanding Catalytic Converter Theft

Before we dive into prevention strategies, let’s understand why catalytic converters are attractive targets for thieves:

  • Precious Metals: Catalytic converters contain precious metals like platinum, palladium, and rhodium, making them valuable on the black market.
  • Easy Targets: These devices are relatively accessible, located underneath vehicles, making them easy for thieves to access quickly.
  • Minimal Deterrents: The theft process is usually quick and quiet, making it difficult for anyone to intervene or catch the criminals in the act.

Know the Signs

Be on the lookout for trucks or cars with ladders on top, particularly if you park near a gas station or car repair shop, as those are prime targets for thieves. You should also look for wires that are cut or hanging down, and be cautious if you hear a loud sound like a chainsaw outside your business.

Prevention Measures for Your Business

  1. Secure Your Property
    • Adequate Lighting: Install motion-activated lights around your business premises and parking lots. Well-lit areas deter potential thieves and make it easier for security cameras to capture suspicious activity.
    • Fencing and Gates: Implement strong perimeter fencing and locked gates to restrict unauthorized access to your property.
  1. Surveillance Systems
    • Invest in a high-quality security camera system with remote access. These cameras can help you monitor your premises in real-time and provide crucial evidence in case of theft. The footage recorded can provide valuable evidence and lead to the arrest of the perpetrator. It can also provide you with a better understanding of what is going on outside your business premises, so you can take steps to prevent future thefts.
  1. Alarms
    • Install alarm systems that trigger when unusual activity or vibrations are detected around vehicles. This can alert security personnel and local law enforcement.
  1. Etching or Marking
    • Mark your catalytic converters with unique identifiers. This can deter thieves and make it easier for law enforcement to trace stolen devices.
  1. Mobile Security Trailer: 
    • Mobile security trailers are equipped with surveillance cameras and lights, which enhance visibility in areas prone to converter theft. The presence of these trailers acts as a deterrent, as potential thieves are less likely to target vehicles with enhanced security measures. These trailers are designed to be easily transported and deployed in different locations, making them a flexible and adaptable solution. They can be strategically positioned based on the specific needs of an area or as a temporary measure in high-risk locations. 
  1. Employee Awareness
    • Educate your employees about catalytic converter theft and encourage them to report any suspicious activity. They are your eyes and ears on the ground.
  1. Secure Parking
    • Encourage employees and customers to park their vehicles in secure, well-lit areas. Consider providing designated parking spaces close to the building entrance.

Environmental Impact

Catalytic converters play a crucial role in reducing vehicle emissions and protecting the environment. When these devices are stolen, it not only harms your business but also contributes to increased pollution. By preventing theft, your business helps safeguard the environment by:

  1. Reducing Illegal Scrap Metal Sales: Stolen catalytic converters often end up being illegally sold as scrap, leading to environmentally harmful extraction practices.
  2. Lowering Vehicle Emissions: Vehicles with stolen catalytic converters produce more harmful emissions, contributing to air pollution and climate change.
  3. Conserving Precious Metals: Preventing theft ensures that precious metals within catalytic converters are used efficiently, reducing the need for additional mining and extraction.


Preventing catalytic converter theft is not just about protecting your business assets but also about contributing to a cleaner and safer environment. By implementing security measures and raising awareness among your employees and customers, you can play a vital role in curbing this growing problem.  It may be tempting to take shortcuts and ignore the situation, but doing so will only increase the risk of catalytic converter theft. Together, we can make our communities more secure and sustainable.


ESI Fire & Security Protection is one of three Honeywell Platinum dealers in Texas and is backed by over 20 years of industry experience. We provide complete security and fire protection services, including Mobile Security Trailers, for businesses, organizations, government buildings, and restaurants throughout Texas and surrounding areas. Contact us today to see how ESI Fire & Security can help secure your organization.


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