I'm worried about CatConverter theft for Prius Prime, any DIY anti-theft?

Discussion in 'Prime Main Forum (2017-Current)' started by The Big Sleaze, Dec 21, 2019.

  1. The Big Sleaze

    The Big Sleaze Junior Member

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    soon to buy a 2020 Prime, but I live in Contra Costa and work in SF, both hot spots for cat theft.

    Heard "this time it will be welded on and hopefully...."

    Does 2020 have welded or bolted cat, and if bolted could some straps be welded on, or could a few Spot Welds on bolts be done? I'm thinking the chances of cat-failure are about 1% and any nonsense about 'warranty voided' would go my way in Small Claims if it comes to that.

    I've seen Toyota of SF sells and installs aftermarket armor plate for $400, which bolts on. Meh, I think deductible is about $500 (not counting disruption of course) so that is kind of iffty-50 IMO.

    I always think the best anti-theft is some oddball DIY because they quickly learn to defeat commercial common anti-theft.

    How about a bullhorn that keeps screaming "These guys jacking up the Prius are stealing the catalytic converter".

    IIRC most thefts are in very early morning, just early enough that ALMOST no one is awake, but its still believable someone is getting legit service call to change tire or something.
     
  2. drash

    drash Senior Member

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    In all honesty, I would be using old wire hangers because dang they are thick and tough. One they would get caught in the teeth of most reciprocating saws and two you would need bolt cutters to get through them especially if you put multiple strands on. This would take too long for a thief and not something they would recognize right away.


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  3. Leadfoot J. McCoalroller

    Leadfoot J. McCoalroller Senior Member

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    Is that model being targeted? The older models were specifically targeted because they had large, overbuilt cats with relatively high amounts of precious metals.
     
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  4. Trollbait

    Trollbait It's a D&D thing

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    With less sulfur in gas, the amount of precious metals in cats will likely drop.
     
  5. The Big Sleaze

    The Big Sleaze Junior Member

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    my old mechanic could use old coat hangers and a car battery to weld. Not sure if that included some sort of flux or "dope".
     
  6. Leadfoot J. McCoalroller

    Leadfoot J. McCoalroller Senior Member

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    @The Big Sleaze

    I've seen a guy weld with a battery, a butterknife and a box of borax.
     
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  7. Washingtonian

    Washingtonian Active Member

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    Isn't that what insurance and a concealed weapons permit are for?
     
  8. drash

    drash Senior Member

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    Weird you just started a thread on this and they just broke up cat converter theft and fencing ring in the county. They’d been stealing them from dealerships, mostly used, and people’s cars parking in their driveway.


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  9. The Electric Me

    The Electric Me Go Speed Go!

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    Sadly the old refrain and cliche which I believe is true, is if a thief really wants an asset, they'll get it.
    Someone once posted a video of thieves wearing full face ski-masks stealing Catalytic Converters, roadside as people drove by, and were videoing them. They didn't care.

    That's not to say I don't think preventative anti-theft measures can't be helpful, it's like the old joke about being chased by a bear, and not having to be faster than the bear, just faster than the slowest person.
    You just need to make your vehicle a less desirable target than the vehicles parked around it.

    But to that end, I'm thinking "complicated" measures probably a waste of time. Anything that just makes removal of you cat, tougher than removal of most everyone elses is probably the best you can do.
    Good Luck.
     
  10. smyles

    smyles Active Member

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    Aside from the obvious lure of a next 'viral video', I also think most people are deterred from interfering due to multiple stories demonstrating over and over again how it's just not worth if, if not counterproductive. Not the situation itself, but the follow up legal and other consequences. God forbid you infringe on some oppressed minority's right for a decent living or something...
     
  11. MSantos

    MSantos EcoAccelerometry

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    This is so true.

    Back in 2015, my model S got broken into while parked in my usual downtown parking spot (monthly parking spot at the parkade). The thieves left a mess of broken glass in the rear-right passenger seat and floor and took off with $4 worth of coins for the car wash. They gained just $4 and left over $1,000 worth of damage (for us all to pay).

    Just this last Tuesday, my 2018 Prime parked at the same spot got also broken in when the thieves also tried to pry open the passenger side window, then proceeded to the same to the rear passenger window then ended up smashing it. They then made with a $6 worth of car wash coins, some USB charging cables, and my reading eyeglasses. In the end, almost $2,000 worth of damage for less than $10 worth of loot.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    However, this time I was prepared with a dual dashcam setup with active parking mode. I captured the mugs of two individuals doing the crime and offered the vids to the police when filing my claim (needed the usual claim # before contacting my insurance). Anyhow, I was told shortly after by a friend in the local law enforcement that prosecutions of "some individuals" rarely result in convictions and jail-house time. My case is likely to be one of those.

    IMO, political correctness and so-called "Social Justice" infecting our legal and judicial system is a disappointing and frustrating combination. :(
     

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    #11 MSantos, Dec 22, 2019
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2019
  12. The Big Sleaze

    The Big Sleaze Junior Member

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    metal theft is a really weird and bad sickness. mostly meth tweekers clawing at scraps in dirt for their next "bump". Cops and DA will call in "non-violent" which means unlimited arrests and conviction and no jail time (except the 1-2 days after arrest...if they even get arrested VS 'citied out' like traffic ticket)
     
  13. PianoBench

    PianoBench Member

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    If you live in San Francisco, try to park strategically. Park on a hill/slope so it's more difficult to jack up your vehicle. Park in a monthly lot with a parking lot attendant. Maybe consider lowering your Prius so it becomes more difficult to jack up? And lastly I guess you could replace the bolts holding up your CATs? I think the criminals just use an impact driver with common metric bolt sizes and heads. Just try to find the bolt size and look for special keyed bolt heads? I know it's not ideal =( maybe even wheel locks can work maybe if the bolt is sized correctly?

    I dont think they try to cut the CATs out as I think it's more beneficial to them to resell the CATs to our prius owners rather than salvage the CATs for metals. But I'm not an expert in this situation.

    I pretty much park my Prius in eyeball view cause I am lucky and rarely venture into the hell that is SF.
     
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  14. fuzzy1

    fuzzy1 Senior Member

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    I believe the later are kept quite sparse down there.
     
  15. PianoBench

    PianoBench Member

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    You know, high end wheels like on porsches or Mercedes and bmw go for like 3g to 9gs I think? They get stolen also. It's almost safe enough to say the prius is not that big of a target.
     
  16. jzchen

    jzchen Senior Member

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    Just a thought- what about a quick disconnect to take it with you, (after cooling down)....

    moto g(7) power ?
     
  17. MikeDee

    MikeDee Senior Member

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    Welded or bolted makes no difference. I had a catalytic converter stolen off my pickup truck some years ago in a BART park and ride lot. They used a battery powered Sawsall to cut the tubing, I think. At least the Prius is close to the ground and would have to be jacked up to get at the convertor. I would get an alarm system, which should be triggered if they jack it up, maybe, depending on the type of alarm sensors.
     
  18. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk 'Orrible Oracle

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  19. Washingtonian

    Washingtonian Active Member

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    Interesting article. Looks like ours are more valuable mainly because they get so little use compared to an ICE car. I wonder what the writer means by marking the cat with a forensic marker to make it easy to identify. What is a forensic marker?
     
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  20. fuzzy1

    fuzzy1 Senior Member

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    Engrave a VIN or other ID on to it.

    But this does little good once the cats are melted down or shipped overseas.
     
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