Culturemap Dallas, By Teresa Gubbons, Aug. 9, 2022
Catalytic converter theft is not a new phenomenon, but there's a spike across the U.S. that's hitting Dallas-Fort Worth hard, including a large seizure in Carrollton and one theft caught on video in which the thief was confronted by the vehicle owner.
These anti-pollution devices use metals such as rhodium whose value has increased dramatically in the past few years. Particularly since the pandemic, thefts have skyrocketed across the U.S.: According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau, the number of thefts grew from 1,298 in 2018 to more than 52,000 in 2021, and according to AAA, Texas is a hot spot.
In 2021, Texas enacted legislation requiring that scrap metal buyers maintain records of purchases including proof of ownership, vehicle identification numbers, the seller's home address and driver's license numbers. Law enforcement professionals say that the law quelled thefts temporarily, only for about a month, before they returned with a vengeance.