Since the introduction of catalytic converters to vehicles, they have been targeted by thieves due to the large quantities of precious metals used in their construction. Unfortunately, this type of crime has been increasing in prevalence, and now, the Chevy Cruze is one of the most popular vehicles to have its catalytic converters stolen.
According to a report from CARFAX, as many as 153,000 vehicles in the U.S. had their catalytic converters stolen during the 2022 calendar year. In comparison, the number of insurance claims for cat replacement stood at roughly 52,000 during the 2021 calendar year.
Thieves are committing “opportunistic crimes,” says Maine State Police Sgt. Matt Casavant. “Parking lots – even ones that were well-lit – were getting hit. Car dealerships are getting hit on a regular basis, too. The thieves were so brazen that it didn’t matter.”
As far as vehicles specifically targeted, the Ford F-Series pickup truck lineup ranked as number one overall, while the Honda Accord came in at second. The Chevy Cruze was ranked tenth overall, which is up five spots from 2021 figures. Meanwhile, the Chevy Equinox is the seventh most-targeted vehicle, up one spot from 2021 numbers, while the Chevy Silverado is the eighth most-targeted vehicle, down three spots from 2021 figures.
So, what can you do to help prevent your catalytic converters from being stolen? Here’s a short list of some steps that can be taken to help protect your vehicle:
- Park in a well-lit area
- Park in your garage
- Be aware of the area around your vehicle
- Install an anti-theft device
- Install motion sensor security lights that illuminate your driveway
- Have a muffler shop etch your vehicle’s VIN on the cat
If your vehicle was hit by thieves, be sure to contact the police and your insurance company as soon as you can. Additionally, make sure you promptly replace the catalytic converter.