Catalytic converter theft continues to rage in the City of Phoenix despite legislation enacted last May designed to deter such theft. HB 2652 had good intentions requiring registration with the Arizona Department of Public Safety any time someone purchased a catalytic converter. The law also prohibits possession, solicitation or advertisement of converters by unlicensed persons. Unfortunately, there are many bad actors out there and City of Phoenix residents continue to be victimized without thieves being held responsible.
Thieves steal catalytic converters because they contain rhodium, palladium and platinum. One ounce of rhodium is valued at $12,000, according to NBC News. New data from the Phoenix Police Department shows there were 1,563 converter thefts from vehicles in Phoenix from May through December 2022.
Now, the Phoenix Police Department is joining forces with Courtesy Automotive Group to permanently etch catalytic converters with SafeCat anti-theft technology that ties a SafeCat serial number to the vehicle’s VIN and registers it in a national database. Phoenix police and other law enforcement officials can access the database so that recovered catalytic converters can be reunited with their vehicles and thieves can be held accountable.
Catalytic converter theft can be devastating for City of Phoenix residents and businesses, in most cases putting their vehicles out of commission until a replacement converter can be installed at a cost of about $3,000. The impact of these thefts has a ripple effect on our community, including halting transportation of disabled citizens, as well as children to school and aftercare and slowing commercial business.
On Jan. 25 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., City of Phoenix residents and businesses will have the opportunity to have their vehicle(s)’ catalytic converters etched with SafeCat for free at Courtesy Chevrolet in Phoenix. Appointments must be made by Jan. 24 either online at https://www.courtesychev.com/Catalytic-Converter-Etching-Event or by calling 480-676-3101. Space is limited. A $3,000 insurance policy tied to each SafeCat application is available for a fee at the Jan. 25 event. After Jan. 25, Courtesy dealerships, including Chevrolet, Volvo, Kia, Chrysler Dodge Jeep and RAM will provide SafeCat etching and the insurance policy to all customers for a fee.
Phoenix saw a staggering 6,500% increase in the theft of converters in 2021. More converters are stolen in Arizona than in 41 other states. Still, catalytic converters often lack serial numbers or features that can be traced back to a victim or the victim’s vehicle.
Jason Church is Chief Operating Officer for Courtesy Automotive Group.