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This Crime is on The Rise in Nevada. Are You at Risk? Learn How to Protect Your Property

Nevada vehicle owners, beware! Around the world, thieves are targeting a very pricey device under your car, the catalytic converter.

Resembling a small muffler along with the exhaust system, catalytic converters are designed to act as a line of defense against harmful exhaust system emissions by turning pollutants into harmless gasses, according to Cars.com.

So why are thieves eyeing this device?

 Catalytic converters contain three precious metals inside: platinum, palladium, and rhodium.

While there are only a few grams of these metals in each converter, the price makes them especially appealing to thieves.

As of December 2020, the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) revealed that rhodium was valued at $14,500 per ounce, palladium at $2,336 per ounce, and platinum going for $1,061 per ounce. Normally, recyclers will pay $50 to $250 per catalytic converter.

And unfortunately, this crime only continues to get worse.

According to NICB, there were 108 catalytic converter thefts per month on average in 2018, 282 average monthly thefts in 2019, and 1,203 average thefts per month in 2020.

Locally, the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department has witnessed a spike in catalytic converter thefts since mid-2020.

What can people do to protect themselves, so they don’t fall victim to this crime?

  • Bolt metal plates over their catalytic converters to make it more difficult for thieves to get to them.
  • Be alert for suspicious activity. Notify a security guard or report concerns to the police.
  • Invest in a device to prevent theft. These many include motion alarms as well as level sensors. If someone tries to jack up a car to steal a catalytic converter, it will sound off.
  • Residents should park vehicles in their garages, if available. Single-family homeowners can consider installing motion sensor security lights. This won’t provide complete security, but thieves may reconsider those vehicles if they detect any surveillance.

If you already have a mobile patrol service, consider elevating your security measures by adding foot patrol guards during the evening hours when these crimes typically occur. Reliance Security works with clients and creates solutions to best fit their individual property needs.

Mobile patrols can be very beneficial, but adding a second layer of security, and increasing visibility on-site, can help to deter these types of crimes. Utilizing foot patrols and surveillance towers are strategies to combat this problem and others,” shared Joel Logan, CEO of Reliance Security.

Repairs can be costly and start in the hundreds and go into the thousands of dollars.

And if you own an electric vehicle, the hit could be bigger. For instance, Toyota Prius models have two catalytic converters.

Logan continued, “This isn’t just happening in residential areas. Thieves are targeting casinos as well as construction sites. I encourage all businesses to revisit their security plans to ensure they have the best protection in place.”

To learn more about Reliance’s customized security solutions, contact Ellen Rhoads at erhoads@reliancesecurityus.com

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