Catalytic converter thefts affect Bend residents; growing national problem

Catalytic converters contain rare and very expensive metals

Update: (Added video, comments from Schnitzer Steel Plant Operations Manager Scott Doyle)

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) — People living in various cornering areas, including Larkspur, Boyd Acres and Orchard District, announced on social media that they had had their catalytic converters stolen just over the weekend. end last.

Stolen catalytic converters are becoming a growing problem in Bend, as has been the case in recent years across the state and nation.

Due to the precious and rare metals used in catalytic converters, located on the chassis of vehicles, thieves profit by removing the part and selling what is essentially worth thousands, for scrap metal.

It’s by no means a new problem in places like California, Minnesota, Washington, or closer to home in Portland, but it’s becoming a worse problem in the High Desert, as recent reports on the Nextdoor neighborhood site.

Facility operations manager Scott Doyle at Schnitzer Steel in Bend said that in some cases people have entered without documentation that would allow them to trace the part.

“Based on the reports we get from law enforcement, sometimes we focus on Ford,” Doyle said Tuesday.

Oregon lawmakers addressed the issue last year, passing Senate Bill 803, which took effect in January and “prohibits scrap companies from buying or receiving catalytic converters , except from the commercial seller or owner of the vehicle from which the catalytic converter was removed”. However, it is too early to measure its effectiveness.

He intends to make buyers acquire catalytic converters honestly and follow the information, putting thieves out of business.

Doyle said he created more security guards.

“Record-keeping requirements have changed, which we certainly meet, as well as the records required for the customer to prove ownership,” Doyle said. “You’re going to need a copy of that vehicle registration in your name, and the vehicle registration contains the VIN and license plate number of that vehicle that the catalytic converter came out of.”

Now, if you’re wondering what makes this piece so valuable, it contains rare and precious metals like palladium that help prevent the buildup of toxic fumes in cars.

According to State Farm, Oregon ranks sixth in the nation for auto parts theft. Last year, the insurance company paid $1.9 million for 1,311 catalytic converter theft claims in Oregon. Nationally, thefts have climbed 1,171% in two years, reaching $62.6 million in claims.

Replacing a catalytic converter can cost hundreds to thousands.

“The range depends on the recovery of the precious metals inside and it’s a very drastic range. It’s huge,” Doyle said.

However, he mentioned that it might come in handy for people to protect their catalytic converters with harder-to-cut housings or cables.

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