Catalytic converter thefts are showing signs of declining as the price of metals within the part becomes less valuable, USA Today reports.
The first half of 2023 saw thefts decline, according to catalytic converter theft data gathered by BeenVerified from the National Insurance Crime Bureau and search data from Google. With 26,742 catalytic converter thefts in the country between January and June, there has been a 43% drop in thefts from last year.
Washington, Oregon, and Hawaii experienced the biggest decrease in thefts in the first half of 2023. Only one state experienced an increase: New Jersey, which saw a 25% increase.
Much of the decline is potentially the result of the valuable metals within the catalytic converter becoming less valuable. Thieves typically steal this part to obtain precious metals such as palladium and platinum, but the prices for these materials has fallen in the past few months.
Though thefts have been on the decline, the number of catalytic converter thefts is still nearly 21 times higher than 2019, before the epidemic began.
“I am not sure that the consumer is seeing the benefit yet from the decrease in catalytic converter thefts,” stated Kerry Sherin, senior public relations manager for BeenVerified. “There is still a significant amount of theft.”