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Dozens of catalytic converters reported stolen as thieves target parked Priuses in Mountain View

Original post made on Jun 1, 2020

The Mountain View Police Department is warning residents of a huge increase in catalytic converter thefts, with reports that 29 vehicles -- almost all Toyota Priuses -- have been targeted in the city since mid-March.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Monday, June 1, 2020, 12:49 PM

Comments (9)

Posted by Alex M
a resident of Willowgate
on Jun 1, 2020 at 2:16 pm

An average catalytic converter contains about 5 grams of platinum, give or take a couple. A Prius is probably on the low end, probably 3-4 grams. The spot price of platinum is just under $30/gram, but that's the pure form, not embedded in clay balls or whatever form it's in inside a catalytic converter. If you spent the effort to extract the platinum, it still isn't worth the market price without purifying it, melting it into ingots, and getting it assayed. You have to steal and process a lot of catalytic converters to yield $100 for each one stolen - not including your expenses.

Posted by Price of a new one?
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Jun 1, 2020 at 3:28 pm

How much is a new cat converter vs one you can buy out of the back of van outside walmart?
That's the comparo you should be making. They're taking them because they are expensive and untraceable parts that can be sold on the black market. Tehy're targeting Priuses because of the ease they can remove them from those cars. They also love older Toyota trucks and 4runners for the same reason.

Posted by Gary
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Jun 1, 2020 at 4:48 pm

This has been going on for more than a year in Mountain View.

Posted by Amy Laden
a resident of Gemello
on Jun 1, 2020 at 4:52 pm

I posted the message below on Nextdoor on 4/23.
Felix's Auto Service, 191 W. Evelyn Ave., Mtn. View (650) 961-0138 installed an anti-theft device to prevent the catalytic converter on my 2006 Prius from being stolen. Older models through 2010 are appealing to thieves because the converters are much easier to remove than on newer Priuses. They want the platinum. I'd talked with Peter prior to shelter in place, and called a couple of weeks ago for an appointment. They were professional, socially distanced more than appropriately and now I have peace of mind. The thought of dealing with my insurance company, and probably needing to buy a new car (I checked with them and was told my car would probably be totalled due to the cost of replacement) was a worry.

Posted by Gary
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Jun 1, 2020 at 6:03 pm

So I just called Felix Auto referenced in the last post. I know someone with a Prius. Quoted $2,000 for the converter or $295 for a "bar" installed that makes it more difficult to steal. Compare with your mechanic.

Posted by DC
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Jun 1, 2020 at 8:33 pm

They once were stealing the batteries in the Hybrid cars too.

Posted by Jes' Sayin'
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Jun 2, 2020 at 2:33 pm

On nextdoor dot com you can see a report that victim of one of these burglaries actually risked his life to go outside and confront the robbers and as a result was able to give the police descriptions, description of their vehicle and their license plate number. Over a month has passed and what have the detectives done about it? Do they ever do any real work over there or just spend our taxpayer money on coffee and doughnuts? Civilians are risking their lives, but what are they doing? It's time the police detectives start doing some real work or we replace all of them, starting from the top. We're sick and tired of this shit.

Posted by James Thurber
a resident of Shoreline West
on Jun 2, 2020 at 4:56 pm

Easy to steal - why? A few tack welds would make them nearly impossible to remove. Hmmm? I wonder . . .

Posted by Miller CAT Corp
a resident of North Whisman
on Jul 7, 2020 at 12:22 am

To clear up any confusion and misinformation, the reason Prius's are being targeted is because Toyota had a difficult time keeping emissions low on their 1st and 2nd generation hybrids. Most of the pollution comes from the initial engine start of a vehicle. As hybrids constantly turn their gasoline engine on and off, this creates a huge emissions issue that was only solved by overloading the converter with palladium and rhodium. Contrary to belief, there is little platinum in the converters. However, the price of palladium and rhodium skyrocketed in the past year, which has made Prius converters the most sought after converter to steal. It has more precious metal than any other vehicle on the market! We make Cat Shields for every model of Prius to protect the catalytic converter from theft. If you are looking for a way to protect yourself, please give us a visit.

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