Texas among states with most reported catalytic converter thefts, insurance data reveals

File photo. (Victor Hilitski/Chicago Tribune/Tribune News Service via Getty Images)

Catalytic converter thefts in the U.S. have surged in recent years, and Texas is among the states where they are being reported the most, a new report reveals.

According to State Farm, their data shows that catalytic converter thefts grew 109% nationally between July 2021 and June 2022 in terms of claims filed by their customers in comparison to the 12 months prior.

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Their data shows that between July 2021 and June 2022 State Farm customers reported 43,219 of these parts stolen. This doubles the amount of catalytic converter theft reports from State Farm customers in the 12 months prior – just over 20,600 from July 2020 through June 2021.

In fact, State Farm says they have already received just over 23,000 catalytic converter theft claims in the first half of 2022 alone.

According to their data, the company says catalytic converter thefts are up more than 400% since 2019.

While the State Farm report only includes data from their customers, the National Insurance Crime Bureau released a report in March warning of skyrocketing thefts across the nation.

According to the NICB report, there were 1,298 catalytic converter thefts in which a claim was filed in 2018, 3,389 in 2019, and 14,433 in 2020.

States with highest reports of catalytic converter thefts

So far in 2022, State Farm says the most catalytic convert thefts were reported in California. From the beginning of the year through August, the insurance company says 7,430 of these claims were filed by their customers in that state.

Texas came in second with 4,830 claims filed by customers during this time period, the company’s data shows. State Farm says of the $70.6 million they have paid to customers this year for catalytic converter thefts, nearly $12 million went to Texans.

State Farms’ ranking of the top five states where claims have been filed by their customers during this time period also includes Illinois in third place with 2,770, Washington in fourth with 1,615, and Minnesota in fifth with 1,550.

Why do thieves steal catalytic converters?

According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau, catalytic converters contain, platinum, palladium, or rhodium – metals that can be worth hundreds or thousands of dollars per ounce. The organization says recyclers may pay $50 to $250 per catalytic converter, but it can cost vehicle owners $1,000 or more to replace. 

In Houston, city leaders passed an ordinance in May that they said would stop business-to-business reselling of stolen exhaust emission control devices.

The Houston Police Department had reported 3,188 catalytic converter thefts in the first three months of 2022 alone, a 123 percent increase from the previous year.

The ordinance requires anyone in possession of a cut catalytic converter to show proof of ownership, and failure to do so could result in a misdemeanor charge.

RELATED:  City of Houston trying to make it tougher for catalytic converter thieves to make money

NCIB says the theft may be covered by optional comprehensive insurance policies, but owners will still be responsible for the deductible.

To prevent catalytic converter theft, the organization suggests parking in secure areas, installing an anti-theft device, getting your VIN etched onto your catalytic converter, and installing bright motion-sensor lights on your vehicle.