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Missing cats- an epidemic

October 5, 2021
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We’ve seen a HUGE increase in the theft of factory catalytic converters across the East Coast and for us, here locally on the Central Coast NSW.

With the massive increase in precious metal prices fueling a profitable scrap metal trade, the on-flow impact is previously unheard of prices being offered for second hand catalytic convertors. This combined with the ongoing adverse effects of the current economic crisis (thanks Covd19!) has led to an uptick in thefts and subsequently, vehicle damage.

What can you do?

Unfortunately if you are forced to park in unattended places where regular break and steal type offences occur (Train station carparks, commuter car spaces etc) there is not a whole lot you can do to protect your vehicle.

The best tool against this kind of opportunistic theft is community vigilance. The more people actively looking for people acting suspiciously, offering to sell catalytic convertors or those with tools in strange places- the more this type of theft becomes harder to pull off.

That said, these thefts are not limited to large unattended car parks. We’ve had customers being targeted in their own street frontage as well as shopping centre car parks. So no where is 100% safe from these dregs!

Our top five tips-

  1. Park in well lit and high traffic areas – More passers-by means less opportunity and more chance of getting caught.
  2. Park in your driveway or off the street – Make it harder to target your vehicle
  3. Be vigilant! if you’re moving through carparks or public areas, keep an eye out for suspicious activity and report it to the police.
  4. Avoid parking in the same place regularly – If you catch a train or commute, try and park in alternating spots. If you’re vehicle has been targeted, it may just save your wallet!
  5. Talk to Gassed Automotive about fitting a catalytic converter brace. While it’s impossible to prevent an enthusiastic thief, adding to the complication of removing pipework will make you a far less appealing target

How are they removing catalytic convertors?

Cordless tools. Simple.

With the decreased cost and increased availability of cordless tools, the ability to break and enter locked premises, locked toolboxes and other previously secure areas has increased tenfold. With that increased capacity for theft, comes increased ability to remove car components.

Thieves are most likely to use a simple reciprocating saw with a long, metal cutting blade. This method is the quietest and quickest.

Other tools such as angle grinders produce more noise, sparks and visual cues that will tip off any passer-by as well as making it more noticeable in the dark. Grinders also require multiple angles to pass through the entire pipe- taking time and making them more likely to be caught.

How do I get it fixed?

Call Gassed Automotive- we’re the most experienced exhaust repairer on the Central Coast, located at Berkeley Vale.

We aren’t just here for all your mechanical needs we can also fit aftermarket, cost effective replacement exhaust parts as well as genuine products.

 

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