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Indiana is successfully battling catalytic converter thefts, rates are expected to go down this year



The last couple of years have been a nightmare for every single American vehicle owner, and the reasons for that are numerous. In the very first months of the pandemic, there has been a shortage of vehicles, both new and used. That eventually resulted in skyrocketing prices, making it difficult for Americans to get themselves a new vehicle. The country since reopened, people are moving on with their lives, but buying a vehicle still seems to be a huge problem.

The second, but not less important issue, is the skyrocketing gas prices. In recent months, we have seen record-high gas prices nationwide, a problem that has forced many to seek transportation alternatives instead of using their own vehicles on a daily basis. However, for some people, these two issues are minor in comparison to what they have had to endure.

Tens of thousands of vehicle owners have been victims of catalytic converter thefts in recent years. The catalytic converter theft problem is not something new, but the number of such incidents has literally exploded in the last year. More than 32,000 catalytic converter thefts were reported nationally in 2021, compared to the 2,535 thefts reported in 2019, recent report shows.

The sudden increase is alarming by itself, but concerns arise from the fact that this trend has continued this year too. Some of the states nationwide are seeing similar numbers, while others are seeing yet another increase in catalytic converter thefts this year. Just a few states might actually see progress in battling this trend, and Indiana is potentially one of them.

Today, State Farm released their data for catalytic converter theft claims in Indiana. According to the report, there had been a total of 461 catalytic converter theft claims in Indiana by the end of August, and State Farm paid a total of $770,470. The number is pretty high compared to last year, when State Farm paid over $973,800 for 648 claims for the whole year.

However, a State Farm official said that Indiana is among the states with a slow-down trend compared to many other states. In comparison to Illinois, where State Farm has already passed numbers for 2021 for both paid and number of claims, Indiana is doing much better.

By the end of the year, State Farm expects to see similar numbers to last year, but exceeding last year’s number is also possible.

There are several reasons that make catalytic converters the number one target for thieves, but the most important is their value. Catalytic converters have precious metals in them, and thieves can easily get several hundred dollars for them. But buying a catalytic converter is a real nightmare for vehicle owners, who usually have to pay thousands of dollars to buy a new one.

In general, Indiana has better results because there is legislation aimed at reducing the acquiring and selling of catalytic converters. Some other states that also have such legislation are doing better compared to states like Illinois. Thanks to Senate Bill 293 signed by Gov. Eric Holcomb earlier this year, catalytic converters are now defined as “major component parts,” which means only licensed salvage recyclers can buy or sell the devices.