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Local Authorities Warn Katy Residents Against Catalytic Converter Theft


June 28, 2021

By Natalie Cook Clark

Katy and the Houston-area have seen a recent increase in catalytic converter thefts. Local authorities caution residents about the crime and give advice on how to protect your vehicle.

Sgt. Tracy Hicks shows how to help prevent catalytic converter theft. Photo credit: Houston Police Department.

Katy residents are seeing an increase in catalytic converter thefts. A catalytic converter is a device used to reduce exhaust emissions from your vehicle. They are most commonly used on internal combustion engines fueled by petrol or diesel.

“We have had some thefts around the area,” says Fort Bend County Constable Chad Norvell.

They are high theft items because they are valuable to scrap metal dealers. They contain precious metals, including rhodium, platinum, and palladium that can all be sold.

Top Targeted Vehicles

Some of the top cars targeted are: Toyota Tundra, Toyota Prius, Toyota Tacoma, Ford F-250, Honda Element and CRV just to name some.

“When they are stolen the damage can be costly,” says Sgt. Tracy Hicks with Houston Police Department. He reported that damage to a Toyota Tundra cost over $10,000 to repair.

Kelly Wagler, a retired Lieutenant from the FBCSO had his catalytic converter stolen last week from his Toyota Tundra just outside his local apartment.

"I came out Wednesday morning to start it and new immediately that someone had cut both catalytic converters," says Wagler. "It sounds like a NASCAR race car."

He had to have it towed to a mechanic and is looking at $3-$4,000 for repair and replacement.

"The converters are nearly impossible to locate for mechanics right now," says Wagler.

Take Precautions

There are precautions that you can take to not guarantee but help decrease your chance of being victimized.

  • Park your car in a well-lit area and if all possible keep it in your garage.

  • Spray the converter with bright, high temperature paint to mark it. This will help authorities and shops ID stolen converters.

  • Engrave your license plate number or the last 4 digits of your VIN on the converter to help authorities ID it.

  • There are devices such as a plate that you can attach to the bottom of your vehicle to restrict access to the converter.

Learn More About Prevention

Video from Houston Police Department.

Anti-Theft Devices

Search "catalytic converter anti-theft" on Amazon and you'll find everything from hard to cut cables, shields, motion sensor alarms, and more.

“These thieves have been bold, and thefts have occurred in the middle of the day,” says Constable Norvell. “Be alert to suspicious activity and don’t hesitate to call it in.”


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