Katy company creates shield to help prevent catalytic converter theft

By George Slaughter, News Editor
Posted 3/24/22

As catalytic converter theft has become a nationwide problem, a Katy company has created a shield that it hopes will help reduce those thefts.

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Katy company creates shield to help prevent catalytic converter theft

Posted

As catalytic converter theft has become a nationwide problem, a Katy company has created a shield that it hopes will help reduce those thefts.

Torans Precision Fabricating, 5230 5th St., developed the shield last year after being asked to do so by officials at a Texas Toyota dealership, business development manager Amanda Hernandez said.

“They reached out to us to make the part because of the thefts going on in the area,” Hernandez said. “This is very problematic, and it’s going on in Houston and the surrounding areas. People are losing their lives trying to prevent the thefts.”

The top targets for converter thefts are Toyota Tundras and Toyota Tacomas. Hernandez said thieves are more likely to steal converters from these vehicles because they are higher and have four converters.

“Now, we are seeing that Ford and Dodge models, and a few others, are being targeted,” Hernandez said. Last year, the Houston Police Department said the Toyota Prius, Ford F-250 and Honda Element & CRV were popular models for thieves to attack.

Thieves are stealing converters because the precious metals they are made of has a high street value.

“From my understanding, the metal inside it, they can receive a lot of money for it,” Hernandez said. “It’s just quick cash for a thief.”

Victims of converter thefts have to replace those converters, which can run about $5,000, Hernandez said. Add the time lost with the car in the shop, and having to drive a replacement vehicle in the meantime, can also be troubling.

The shield is made from aluminum. Shield size varies with the vehicle. For the Toyota Tundra, the boxes are 46 inches long by 37 inches wide by 5 inches high. One can install a shield himself, or he could ask an auto professional to do the work.

“It’s very easy to install it yourself, Hernandez said, adding that the company recommends using an auto professional for installation.

The National Insurance Crime Bureau offered these tips to prevent catalytic converter thefts:

  • Park in a garage or in a secure parking area.
  • Install a bright, motion sensor light to dissuade potential thieves.
  • Park fleet vehicles in secured, alarmed, and well-lit yards.
  • Always lock the vehicle and set the alarm.
  • Install an anti-theft device.

In addition to these tips, Farmers Insurance also suggests that one etch the license plate number onto the converter. By doing this, the part becomes identifiable to law enforcement. The Houston Police Department suggested etching the vehicle identification number onto the converter.

Hernandez said the shields are available directly from the company, through eBay and Amazon.