Catalytic converter theft isn’t a new phenomenon, but with the economic challenges and difficulties of late, it’s getting more rampant and in the case of this Facebook video, more rampant.
From the video, the attempted theft took place just outside Hotel De Palma along Jalan Ampang. Three men were involved, with two on the watch by their silver Proton Iriz with the number plate BNJ 2473, and the third under the Toyota Innova.
As the third person emerged from under the car, which seemed to be jacked up, he was also holding a ratchet-style cutter commonly used for cutting exhaust pipes.
In brief, a catalytic converter serves as a ‘filter’ for harmful fumes waste gases from a car’s engine and reduces the emissions released into the atmosphere through the exhaust pipe. It usually contains precious metals such as platinum, palladium, and in some cases even gold.
The value of the catalytic converter usually depends on which car it came from and can range from a few hundred Ringgit to a couple thousand per piece.
Coincidentally, one of us removed the catalytic converter from an old 1994 BMW 3-Series recently, and to our surprise, a ‘chop shop’ was eager to buy them over and very promptly offered and transferred RM1,500 for the pair of catalytic converters. It was only then we found out from a BMW workshop that it could’ve easily fetched a much higher price. Bummer.
So how do you protect your car against such thefts? Well, aside from not parking in dark and quiet places, there’s really not much else.
Even so, look where this ‘near-theft’ happened; in broad daylight right by the side of a busy street.