Catalytic converter thefts are not a new problem. However, new reports indicate that thefts of this auto part in Illinois are absolutely skyrocketing.

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I saw two different reports that show just how bad catalytic converter thefts are in Illinois specifically. One was a story in the Wall Street Journal which said thefts are trending up nationally, but it also included one statistic that is startling. It says "reported thefts in Chicago reached 4,781 through September this year, up from 1,842 during the same period last year".

This isn't an issue that can just be blamed on Chicago though. Capital Fax quoted a report from State Farm showing that Illinois as a whole is #3 in America for catalytic converter thefts. The amount of money they've paid out over the past 3 years gives you an idea of how this is really skyrocketing in Illinois.

  • 2019 - $651,000 paid in Illinois for catalytic converter thefts
  • 2020 - $1,100,000 paid in Illinois for catalytic converter thefts
  • 2021 - $3,100,000 paid in Illinois for catalytic converter thefts

According to the reports, Cook County offered to imprint the owner initials on catalytic converters, but had to shut down the program after a short time after they were overwhelmed with requests. Incredible.

If you'd like to dig deeper into the catalytic converter theft data, both the Wall Street Journal and Capital Fax articles are worth the read. It's jaw-dropping to see just how crazy the thieves have become in cashing in on the black market for automotive metals these days.

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