Catalytic converter almost stolen (I chased after the guy)

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Baitguru
Posts: 20
Joined: November 8th, 2017, 6:33 am
Location: Plano, Texas

Catalytic converter almost stolen (I chased after the guy)

Post by Baitguru »

Warning: large number of Catalytic converters being stolen. The Unemployment rate, combined with the easy access (5 minutes and they are gone), and the increase in value for the rare metals utilized in the catalytic converters construction, are making them more desirable.

I almost caught the guy (need to run faster) that was trying to steal the Catalytic converter off my 2004 concourse.
I posted these details on FB, but wanted to share here (Story below), and discuss further options to protect these from being stolen off our Chinooks.
It was in my driveway (in back of my house) at 10:22 in the morning. I was in the kitchen cooking, and they were within less than an inch of stealing it.
After I chased one thief, the other drove down the block and picked him up (I was was van length away). I wasn't sure what was going on, and I looked under my Chinook to find the Exhaust behind the Cat completely severed, and the exhaust in front of the cat 99% (I lifted the Catalytic converter twice and it separated completely).

There is currently a large number of Catalytic converters being stolen from large Ford Trucks, Toyota Trucks, and Honda Civics/elements (I don't understand the Honda cars because they would be difficult to get under). I was the second person to go into the muffler shop around 3pm, but I had my Catalytic converter which they were able to weld back in-line with the exhaust ($100 for the weld,$58 for a new O2 Sensor). The other person's exhaust was completely stolen. I was told the high price of rare/precious metals used in Catalytic converters is making them desirable targets (5 minutes of work) for theft and to be sold on on the black market. Our large exhausts make them even more attractive.

I am looking for a good night sleep (this happened 25 hours ago, and I'm very angry that I didn't catch the guy). I am jumping up in the middle of the night at the slightest sound, and quietly going through the back door (through the back yard) and then that gate to check up on my Chinook).

Looking for protection and prevent the theft.
I had asked on Facebook about protection of the Catalytic from theft, or more likely a deterrent, and there was one recommendation (CatClamp)
there is this device called a catclamp https://catclamp.com
Which has a collar in front and behind the catalytic converter, and several cables running fore-and-aft of the CAT, making it difficult to use a reciprocating saw (what the thief had to cut into my exhaust)/sawzall to cut the stainless steel tube.

It was also suggested to me by my muffler shop that they have installed on several fleet vehicles (a plumber that had 3 trucks) where they can weld re-bar over the catalytic converter, and far enough back on the exhaust. This just adds more items, or surface area to cut through, but I think this would be quieter than the next option that they could install. The could weld several length of chain fore-aft of the catalytic converter. The theory behind this is a loose chain (or cable) will move if attempts to use a reciprocating saw to cut.
One good thing seems to be that I had previously recognized a sound originating from under my Chinook (a rattle while running) that is no longer there now that they again welded the Catalytic converter back to the Exhaust. I had believed it was probably the heat shield (or something).

I am opening this up for further discussion. Has anyone had success with these deterrents?



====Additional details/story of yesterday's encounter===========================================
Story as I posted on FB, around 11am (30 minutes after it happened and the police came by and provided a report).
I was in the kitchen cooking a large batch of soup in my instant pot, and I hear this loud screeching sound, originating from outside. Thinking it might be someone working on my neighbors Air conditioner, I looked out the window and saw nothing. Then I thought it may be something seriously wrong with my 2 two Ac units.
I open the kitchen door to the garage and the noise got louder, and I could hear that there was an engine running in the alley. I hit the garage door opener, and start walking to the back thinking it was city workers, or a crew working on a neighbors property. While the door was opening, I found a short white balding guy in a red and white flannel shirt, carrying a “sawzall” coming out from under my Chinook. I was trying to figure out what was this crew member doing in my yard (I was that stupid). Then I started to give chase, and the goldish green (same color as portion of my Chinook) Ford Econoline panel van took off past me and North up the alley, while I chased the individual south for 100 yards down the alley, then between 2 houses. I noticed the van pulling around and passed us, while I was pulling my phone out of my pocket to call 911, in case I needed to fight 2 people at the same time. The van came around, and as soon as the operator responded. I started yelling out the license plate id, which is a mistake, I should have continued to chase after and grab him before I got into the van.
Then didn’t get it, but came mighty close!!!
Catalytic converter cut from exhaust
Catalytic converter cut from exhaust
catalytic converter after I lifted it up twice and it separated
catalytic converter after I lifted it up twice and it separated
2004 Chinook Concourse :arrow:
chin_k
**Forum Contributor**
Posts: 1960
Joined: June 26th, 2017, 9:38 pm
Location: Southern CA

Re: Catalytic converter almost stolen (I chased after the guy)

Post by chin_k »

They usually go after the Japanese car and van, since they are worth more at the recycling yard. I have my cat stolen on my Nissan Quest. it is easier to crawl under on the taller van, but I always thought our rigs are immune from this due to the American cat.

I heard they can get maybe $50 from the shady recycling yard, depends on the rare metal price. It would cost me $1200 to replace my cat on the Nissan, but I went with a after-market one, and it never worked the same due to the lower quality. I guess it is a great way to stimulate the economy for these cat exchange :roll:
2000 Concourse dinette, on 2000 6.8L Ford E350 Triton V-10 Chassis (built in 1999)
68camaro
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Joined: May 16th, 2018, 4:49 pm

Re: Catalytic converter almost stolen (I chased after the guy)

Post by 68camaro »

Dang, so sad to hear about this. Just another thing to worry about.
2001 Concourse XL Lounge model, 6.8L Ford E350 Triton V-10 Chassis.
chin_k
**Forum Contributor**
Posts: 1960
Joined: June 26th, 2017, 9:38 pm
Location: Southern CA

Re: Catalytic converter almost stolen (I chased after the guy)

Post by chin_k »

BTW, I would not run after the thief like you did. At my age, a few thousand dollars is not worth to go after if it involves risking getting run over. There are so many people who cares about you and don't want you to get hurt.
2000 Concourse dinette, on 2000 6.8L Ford E350 Triton V-10 Chassis (built in 1999)
Baitguru
Posts: 20
Joined: November 8th, 2017, 6:33 am
Location: Plano, Texas

Re: Catalytic converter almost stolen (I chased after the guy)

Post by Baitguru »

Thanks for your concern. I have been very laxed in my physical training. Some of that due to Covid19, and gym closures (can't imagine trying to workout while wearing a max), and the other is our dog of 16 years 3 months died on memorial day, and he was always encouraging (except for the last 8 months) to go on long walks. However, I did see every espisode of "Corba Kai" now our Netflix (previously on Youtube tv) :). I saw myself on the video captured by a neighbor down the alley (damn I'm Fat), so I will mix in some sprints in my 4 mile jogs/walks.

But seriously, my muffler shop/welder did indicate that for a local Dallas area plumber, he built a "box", or cage, out of rebar, that he welded over to the catalytic converter. Still plenty of ventilation, and would deter and thieves (easier to steal off another vehicle) for only $150. I just think rebar would be another "Rusty" item under my Chinook. Maybe I could paint it with "hunter Orange" primer and paint to help it last longer. The shop also spoke about welding several chains the length of the catalytic converter. Chains would be difficult to cut with a reciprocating saw as they would move. However, I think those would be an additional sound I don't want to hear from under my chassis.

Thank you,
2004 Chinook Concourse :arrow:
chin_k
**Forum Contributor**
Posts: 1960
Joined: June 26th, 2017, 9:38 pm
Location: Southern CA

Re: Catalytic converter almost stolen (I chased after the guy)

Post by chin_k »

They can cut the chain where it attached to the chassis, but it is more work to find out where the ends attach.

This is why we can't have nice things :(
2000 Concourse dinette, on 2000 6.8L Ford E350 Triton V-10 Chassis (built in 1999)
Stan Watkins
Posts: 36
Joined: February 12th, 2021, 9:23 pm
Location: SoCal

Re: Catalytic converter almost stolen (I chased after the guy)

Post by Stan Watkins »

I'm thinking of the cage idea with broken glass underneath the rig. Thanks for the heads up. I knew they were doing this on 4X4 pickups but didn't think of motorhomes.
1999 Concourse Ford E350
Jlfchinook
Posts: 63
Joined: March 20th, 2020, 6:06 am
Location: Port Lavaca TX

Re: Catalytic converter almost stolen (I chased after the guy)

Post by Jlfchinook »

If your does get stolen, Rockauto sell a direct replacement for it, $345.00 delivered to your door. I know and had to replace mine, this one is working fine and no check engine lights using it.
2000 Concourse, 2001 premier
earlnash
Posts: 6
Joined: August 24th, 2020, 5:42 pm

Re: Catalytic converter almost stolen (I chased after the guy)

Post by earlnash »

See the discussion, and my solution, in this post.

https://chinookrvforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=2276
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