Secure Your Fleet: Expert Insights on Preventing Catalytic Converter Theft

Table of Contents
Chapter 1:
Understanding Catalytic Converter Theft
Chapter 2:
Methods For Catalytic Converter Theft Prevention
Anti-Theft Barriers and Devices
Parking Strategies
Marking and Identification Systems
Security Systems and Cameras
Chapter 3:
Comparing the Effectiveness of Prevention Methods
Chapter 4:
Implementing a Comprehensive Security Plan
Chapter 5:
Success Stories of Catalytic Converter Theft Prevention
Chapter 6:
Working with SCW for Expert Guidance and Support
Safeguarding Your Business from Catalytic Converter Theft


Why now? The Rise of Catalytic Converter Theft

The Automotive industry has found itself battling an unprecedented rise in catalytic converter theft. Incidents of catalytic converter theft surged a staggering 1,215% between 2019 and 2022 [1]. This has posed significant challenges for businesses reliant on vehicle fleets for their operations.

You may be wondering what is fueling this surge in thefts. The answer lies in the catalytic converters themselves. The escalating value of precious metals like rhodium, palladium, and platinum, which are found in catalytic converters, has made them highly coveted by criminals.

Given the rising problem of theft, businesses must take proactive measures to safeguard their valuable assets. This is especially crucial for companies with vehicle fleets, as they frequently find themselves targeted by thieves. Catalytic converter theft not only incurs substantial costs but also tarnishes a company's reputation and disrupts its operations.

At SCW, we recognize the vital role that security plays in protecting your business's most valuable assets. Leveraging our extensive experience in delivering effective security systems for the automotive industry, we possess the knowledge and expertise needed to combat theft and mitigate the associated damages. In this e-book, we offer expert advice on safeguarding your business and fleet against catalytic converter theft. We will equip you with practical strategies, tools, and best practices to minimize the risk of theft and ensure uninterrupted operations.

Our objective is to empower you with the necessary information and resources to adopt a proactive approach against catalytic converter theft, allowing you to concentrate on what truly matters - running a successful business.


Understanding The Drivers of Catalytic Converter Theft

Essential components of modern vehicles, catalytic converters are designed to reduce harmful emissions by converting toxic exhaust emissions into safe gasses, like steam. Unfortunately, the very qualities that make them environmentally friendly also make them attractive targets for thieves.

The main driver of catalytic converter theft is the precious metals used to produce them. Catalytic converters contain a variety of extremely rare and valuable metals, including platinum, palladium, and rhodium. Hidden within every vehicle's catalytic converter, over 91% of Americans own these precious metals without even realizing it.

Currently, platinum is priced at $1,074 per troy ounce, palladium at $1,563 per troy ounce, and rhodium commands an astounding $8,050 per troy ounce. To put this in perspective, a troy ounce is approximately 31.1 grams, or about the weight of 31 paper clips.

When a business falls victim to catalytic converter theft, the impact can be severe with the direct costs of replacing stolen converters and repairing any collateral damage often substantial. Additionally, the loss of vehicle use during repairs can lead to operational disruptions, missed deadlines, and potential loss of business. To top it all off, increased theft can also lead to a rise in insurance premiums while negatively impacting a brand's reputation.

“The National Insurance Crime Bureau has been tracking the surge in catalytic converter thefts, and says there's been about a ten-fold increase in thefts since 2018” - NPR

In the following sections, we'll introduce ways businesses can protect their assets and reduce the risk of catalytic converter theft. By understanding the reasons behind these crimes and implementing effective prevention strategies, businesses can safeguard their vehicles, minimize financial losses, and preserve their reputations.

Watch: Expert Solutions to Prevent Catalytic Converter Theft

In the video below, our physical security experts discuss effective solutions to combat the skyrocketing rates of catalytic converter theft. From implementing physical barriers to leveraging advanced security cameras and remote guarding services, we provide a comprehensive guide to safeguard your valuable assets. Don't miss out on these expert insights that could save you time and money.

Chapter 1

Proven Methods For Preventing Catalytic Converter Theft

The protection of your fleet and business from catalytic converter theft is crucial for minimizing financial losses and maintaining smooth operations. In this section, we will discuss the various methods and strategies that can help deter thieves and safeguard your valuable assets.

Anti-Theft Barriers and Devices

A variety of physical barriers and devices are available to prevent theft of catalytic converters. These options include:

  1. 1. Skid plates and guards: Cat shields or guards are designed to cover and protect the catalytic converter, making it more difficult for thieves to access and remove it.
  2. 2. Locks and clamps: These devices secure the catalytic converter to the vehicle, preventing thieves from easily detaching it.
  3. 3. Cable and chain systems: By attaching the catalytic converter to the vehicle's frame with cables or chains, you can make it more challenging for thieves to steal the unit.

While these methods address a specific issue, it's important to remember that security cameras can serve multiple purposes. In addition to monitoring your parking lot, they can keep an eye on employees, provide business analytics, and more. With the right security system, you get the benefit of addressing multiple issues with one integrated solution.

Parking Strategies

What may seem like a simple solution, strategic parking can have a big impact on reducing theft. Consider the following tips:

  1. 1. Secure and well-lit parking areas: Park vehicles in areas with good lighting and security measures such as fencing and gates.
  2. 2. Parking close to walls or other vehicles: Position vehicles in a way that makes it difficult for thieves to access the undercarriage where the catalytic converter is located.

Marking and Identification Systems

Marking your catalytic converter can help deter thieves and aid in recovery if it is stolen:

  1. 1. Engraving or tagging: Mark the catalytic converter with a unique identifier or your company's name.
  2. 2. VIN etching: Etch the vehicle's VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) onto the catalytic converter to make it easily traceable.

Security Systems and Cameras

Investing in security systems and cameras is a powerful deterrent against catalytic converter theft. Here are some important factors to consider to maximize the effectiveness of your security system:

Marking your catalytic converter can help deter thieves and aid in recovery if it is stolen:

  1. 1. Engraving or tagging: Mark the catalytic converter with a unique identifier or your company's name.
  2. 2. VIN etching: Etch the vehicle's VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) onto the catalytic converter to make it easily traceable.

  1. 1. Types of security cameras: Choose cameras suitable for protecting parking lots and areas without great lighting, such as infrared or long range cameras.
  2. 2. Proper camera placement and coverage: Position cameras strategically to cover the entire parking area and capture clear footage of potential thieves.
  3. 3. Event-based detection: SCW's Survail offers people and vehicle detection, allowing you to focus on events that truly matter.
  4. 4. Scheduled VCA (Video Content Analysis): This feature enables you to customize security notifications and events according to specific schedules. For instance, if your business is closed for a holiday, you can easily adjust the system to monitor for unusual activity during that time.
  5. 5. Flexible use cases: Security systems with adjustable settings make it easy to adapt to different scenarios. Whether you need to change the event triggers or modify the schedule, a versatile security system can accommodate your needs.
  6. 6. Monitoring and alarms: Professional monitoring services provide an extra layer of protection by keeping an eye on your property and alerting you to any suspicious activity.

By implementing a combination of these methods and strategies, you can significantly reduce the risk of catalytic converter theft and ensure the security of your business and fleet.

Chapter 2

Comparing the Effectiveness of Prevention Methods

When it comes to protecting your business and fleet from catalytic converter theft, it is important to consider the pros and cons of each prevention method. By comparing each prevention method, you can determine which options are best suited for your business's unique needs and budget.

Prevention Method Pros Cons
Anti-Theft Barriers and Devices
  • Targeted protection
  • Deterrent for thieves
  • Limited to protecting catalytic converters only
  • May require professional installation
Parking Strategies
  • Cost-effective
  • Deters thieves by limiting access
  • May not always be feasible based on location
  • Relies on employee compliance
Marking and Identification Systems
  • Aids in recovery if stolen
  • Makes it less appealing for thieves to sell the unit
  • May not deter all thieves
  • Requires time and effort to implement
Security Systems and Cameras
  • Provides comprehensive security
  • Visual deterrent: Deters thieves and aids in recovery
  • Offers valuable evidence in case of an incident
  • Cost-effective in the long run
  • Initial investment cost
  • May require ongoing maintenance and monitoring costs
Professional Camera Monitoring
  • Monitor while you are away
  • Respond quickly and effectively to potential emergencies
  • Expertise: Professional monitoring companies have the expertise to analyze camera footage and identify suspicious activities that may be missed by untrained eyes
  • Peace of Mind: Knowing that professionals are monitoring your business
  • Ongoing cost

The added value of professional camera monitoring and security cameras cannot be overstated. In addition to serving as a powerful deterrent, they also provide valuable evidence in the event of an incident. Visual verification is crucial, as it means law enforcement is more likely to respond quickly to an incident when there is clear visual evidence of a crime taking place. 

While investing in a commercial-grade security system may require a significant upfront cost, it is important to consider the long-term return on your investment. The system pays for itself over time by providing comprehensive protection, potentially reducing insurance premiums, and minimizing the financial impact of theft and other security incidents.

When comparing the various prevention methods, it's clear that implementing a robust security system and cameras offers the most comprehensive and cost-effective solution in the long run.

Chapter 3

Choosing the Right Security System to Secure Your Fleet

Protecting your fleet and assets from catalytic converter theft starts with choosing the right security system. In this section, we’ll guide you through the process of evaluating security systems so you can find a solution that best suits your specific needs and budget.

Chapter 3

Checklist: Follow these simple steps to secure you fleet

  1. 1. Evaluate your business's specific needs: Before investing in a security system, consider the following questions to determine what features and functionalities are most important for your business:
    • - What is the size and layout of your parking area?
    • - How many vehicles are in your fleet?
    • - What are the most vulnerable areas or access points?
    • - Have you experienced theft or security incidents in the past?
    • - What is your budget for a security system?
  2. 2. Think about integrating security systems with existing infrastructure: When choosing a security system, consider how it will integrate with your current infrastructure, such as walls, light poles, and other elements. This will help ensure seamless installation and optimal coverage.
    • - Can cameras be mounted on existing structures?
    • - Are there sufficient power sources and network connections available for the system?
    • - Will the system require any modifications to your property or facilities?
  3. 3. Consider event-based detection: A security system with event-based detection can help you focus on incidents that truly matter. By detecting people and vehicles, these systems can provide meaningful alerts and notifications, reducing false alarms and unnecessary distractions.
  4. 4. Enhance effectiveness with remote professional monitoring: Consider remote professional monitoring for your security system. This service offers an extra layer of protection by keeping an eye on your property 24/7 and alerting you to any suspicious activity. In some cases, monitoring services can also dispatch law enforcement or security personnel to your location if needed.

By carefully assessing your business's specific needs and considering the various factors outlined above, you can select a security system that offers the best protection for your fleet and assets. Investing in the right solution will safeguard your business from catalytic converter theft and provide much needed peace of mind.

Chapter 4

Implementing a Comprehensive Security Plan

Creating a comprehensive security plan is essential for protecting your business and fleet from catalytic converter theft and other security threats. The best protection and long-term success for your business will come from a tailored insurance plan that meets your specific needs. To create an effective security plan, follow these steps:

  1. 1. Assess your current security situation: Evaluate your existing security measures, identify vulnerabilities, and determine any past theft or security breaches incidents.
  2. 2. Define your security objectives: Clearly outline your goals and objectives for your security plan, such as preventing catalytic converter theft, reducing insurance premiums, and improving overall security.
  3. 3. Identify critical assets and areas: Determine which assets (vehicles, equipment, etc.) and areas (parking lots, access points, etc.) require the most protection and focus your efforts on securing them.
  4. 4. Evaluate potential security solutions: Research and compare various security solutions, including anti-theft devices, parking strategies, marking systems, and security systems with cameras. Consider the pros and cons of each method, as well as your budget and specific needs.
  5. 5. Develop an implementation plan: Once you have selected the most appropriate security solutions, create a detailed plan for implementing them, including timelines, personnel, and any necessary training.
  6. 6. Monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of your security plan: Regularly review your security measures, assess their effectiveness, and make adjustments as needed. This will ensure your plan remains up-to-date and responsive to evolving threats.
Chapter 5

Success Story of Catalytic Converter Theft Prevention

Catalytic Converter Theft Prevention at a Self Storage Facility in Ohio

Pogoda Companies operates a site in Lakewood, Ohio. They required a security solution to address a growing concern over catalytic converter thefts from their fleet of U-Haul trucks.


Catalytic converter theft was a recurring issue, and Pogoda Companies sought a proactive, effective, and cost-efficient solution to deter potential thieves and assist in capturing those responsible for any thefts.


Our security team proposed three different levels of security enhancement to Pogoda Companies: professional monitoring, camera upgrades with active deterrents, and advanced surveillance systems. Pogoda opted for the middle-ground solution: swapping their existing cameras for Lookout Mini 5.0 cameras equipped with active deterrents, including a bright white light designed to startle potential thieves and provide clear footage of their faces.

The Lookout Mini 5.0 cameras were successfully installed, covering all areas where the U-Haul trucks were parked. This upgrade offered enhanced security without the ongoing cost of professional monitoring.


The active deterrents in the new security cameras were instrumental in preventing further catalytic converter thefts. In one instance, the white light feature illuminated a potential thief, clearly capturing his face on video. This footage was instrumental in aiding the local police in identifying and subsequently arresting the individual.


While there are many options for preventing catalytic converter theft, by choosing to upgrade their security cameras, Pogoda Companies successfully curbed the catalytic converter theft issue at their Lakewood site. This case demonstrates the efficacy of the Lookout Mini 5.0 cameras with active deterrents, providing a cost-effective solution for businesses facing similar security challenges.

We hope to soon have Pogoda Companies sign up for our professional monitoring service to add an additional layer of truly active deterrence.

Chapter 6

Working with SCW for Security and Support:

Partnering with a professional security provider, such as SCW, can significantly enhance the effectiveness of your security plan.

With decades of security experiences, SCW offers expert guidance and support in a number of areas that include:

1. Security system selection: SCW can help you choose the right security system based on your unique needs, budget, and infrastructure.

2. Installation and integration: SCW's experienced technicians can ensure the proper installation and integration of your security system, optimizing coverage and performance.

3. Training and support: SCW can provide training and ongoing support to ensure your team is well-equipped to use and maintain your security system.

4. Remote professional monitoring: SCW's remote monitoring services can offer additional peace of mind, providing 24/7 surveillance and rapid response to any security incidents.

Your business and fleet can be effectively protected from catalytic converter theft and other security risks by implementing a comprehensive security plan with the help of experts like SCW.

Chapter 6

Simple Tips for Safeguarding Your Business from Catalytic Converter Theft

Throughout this article, we have emphasized the growing problem of catalytic converter theft and the importance of proactive prevention measures. While implementing a combination of prevention methods can be effective, investing in security cameras and professional monitoring proves to be the best long-term approach for protecting your business and fleet.

Security systems and professional monitoring play a critical role in reducing the risk of catalytic converter theft. They not only deter thieves by increasing the likelihood of getting caught but also provide valuable evidence in case of an incident. Additionally, security cameras offer versatile and cost-effective protection for your entire fleet and other assets.

We strongly recommend installing security cameras with a monitoring system at your parking facility to maximize the security of your business. This comprehensive approach not only addresses the specific issue of catalytic converter theft but also helps protect against other security threats, ensuring the overall safety and well-being of your business.

At SCW, we are committed to helping businesses stay secure and thrive in the face of growing security challenges. Our expertise and range of security solutions, including security cameras, systems, and professional monitoring services, enable us to provide tailored support and guidance to businesses looking to safeguard their assets from catalytic converter theft and other risks. 

When you partner with SCW, you can have peace of mind knowing that your business is secure and ready to thrive for years to come.

Book a security review

We’ll design a free, custom security camera floor plan for your unique location that helps protect against catalytic converter theft

Professional Camera Monitoring

Camera monitoring doesn’t have to be expensive or complex. Our solutions are tailored to your specific needs.

Professional installation services

SCW offers a full suite of integrated security solutions for today’s car dealership needs.