In the last few days, the owners of a Honda Jazz and a Toyota Prius have had their catalytic converters targeted in broad daylight by thieves in the Sunbury area. These two separate crimes may herald a spree which may claim more victims. Vehicle owners are urged to be vigilant especially as the cost of repair can be very considerable.
A white male aged between 20 and 30 years driving a black Vauxhall Astra (no registration number) was seen to be loading his booty into the Vauxhall car before it was realised what he had done.
What’s the attraction for thieves? Well, the catalyst itself is most often a mix of precious metals. Platinum is the most active catalyst and is widely used, but is not suitable for all applications because of unwanted additional reactions and high cost. Palladium and rhodium are two other precious metals used. Rhodium is used as a reduction catalyst, palladium is used as an oxidation catalyst, and platinum is used both for reduction and oxidation. Needless to say, catalytic converters have a scrap value!