Protect That Cat!
Dedicated car thieves are a determined bunch. Never mind that they bring inconvenience at best and misery at worst to their victims; they are intent on nicking your motor. As fast as car manufacturers develop new ways to secure their products so computer-totting miscreants keep pace with it. Car theft is an ongoing problem but, and in some ways worse, it is the casual thief that is the bigger issue because, although they are not equipped to steal the whole car, there is value in the parts; alloy wheels and catalytic converters are favourite.
Why Steal A Cat?
Alloy wheels are an obvious target as they are easy to sell on. Largely, costly car wheels are these days protected by locking wheel nuts which is a workable and effective solution. That leaves the vulnerable catalytic converter.
These necessary items are required to help cut emissions of nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide and hydrocarbons. They are not cheap to make and are as a consequence expensive to replace. Opportunistic thieves will think nothing of jacking-up a vehicle on the street or on a driveway in plain sight and removing it in a swift, brutal fashion. More expense for the motorist.
The reason they are so popular is that they contain the precious metals Platinum, Rhodium, and Palladium. Although the contents of a cat are a hazard to health that doesn't stop criminals targetting them to get at the very saleable metal.
What Can The Car Owner Do?
Well, there are various ways in which theft of a cat can be impeded or even stopped, usually by making the job to difficult to complete. Although this adds another expense to car ownership it may prevent expensive replacement and costly insurance claims. Here are our suggestions for keeping that cat safe:
Make the job harder for the thief by parking adjacent to an obstacle like a wall or high kerb. If access is impeded the thieves might move on.
If possible always leave the car on private property, ideally a garage or at least behind a locked gate. Clearly, this is not always possible.
Let There Be Light
Criminals like the dark. Parking in a well lit area is something of a deterrent; especially if there is nearby CCTV.
Many manufacturers supply car alarms as a matter of course but they can be disabled if the villains have done their homework. Fitting a supplementary alarm will come as a surprise!
Get A Cat Clamp
These devices come in different shapes and sizes to suit many different models and secure the catalytic converter to the chassis at various points. This is usually enough to deter a thief; they don't have the time to waste on a secure vehicle.
Add A Touch Of Weld
Most motorists are not equipped to perform welding tasks so it could be an idea to ask your local professional garage to weld the converter bolts in place, rendering it much harder to steal. Well maintained cat converters last a long time so it won't be to much of a problem when the time comes for a change.
Other Forms Of Locks
Ask you dealer about brand and model specific locks. Toyota offer one, for example. These are very effective as a deterrent but are not the cheapest solution.
Many homeowners today use cameras to record the goings-on around their property. They don't always deter a determined thief but they can be used to aid identification. The sight of a camera will likely be enough to scare off the opportunist.
Show Us Your Etchings
Your local garage may well offer a security number etching service. By adding a unique serial number to the converter and advertising this fact by way of a window sticker might make a criminal think twice.
Nobody wants their motor used and abused, so by deploying one or even more of these methods to discourage theft might make the criminal think again and move on. Ask your local garage to see what services they offer in this regard. That extra bit of expense may save inconvenience and greater cost later.