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matrixprofessor

Options for protecting catalytic converters?

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Today my friend Waqar who is a member of this forum, has become the latest victim. His wife went to Leatherhead leisure centre in Surrey, and the theft took place in the carpark. His car is gen 2 Prius. 
A couple of months back whilst he was having the car MOT, he saw these shields made for fitting under the car.

IMG-20191021-WA0000.thumb.jpg.591e09cf4f5ed6f6209658ece75395e4.jpg 

He thought about getting one, but obviously did not. I don't have information on the garage supplying these shields. 
The car is now at another garage having a replacement cat' and sensor fitted. It is not a genuine Toyota, but the garage fitting, plus other sources have said, the thieves seem attracted to genuine Toyota cats! 
Waqar has told me the carpark manager at the leisure centre seemed shifty, whilst another employee seemed more honest and told him, there had been 9 similar thefts! I told Waqar to add this comment when reporting to the police. If there is a pattern, then they could investigate. If the police had the resources, they could put a bait car there, and follow to the scrap dealer. That's what I would want, but in reality things never work like that.
  

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Catalytic convertor thefts are a major problem now. Thieves in gangs roaming the country and targeting Hybrid vehicles particularly vulnerable are the Prius cars.. The police seem to be unable or unwilling to do anything about this crime wave. Insurers are increasing renewal premium charges if you make a claim. In my opinion Toyota should come out with a modification which prevents the catalytic convertor from being stolen.. The catloc is only a deterrent it does not prevent the convertor being stolen by determined thieves who have no fear of getting caught.  I would be willing to pay for a 100% fix for this problem. That would be cheaper than having to get a new convertor each time. Toyota is losing Prius customers. I was told by the dealer two customers have P/X their Prius cars for the new Hybrid Yaris.because of this issue.

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18 minutes ago, Chris Dance said:

Catalytic convertor thefts are a major problem now. Thieves in gangs roaming the country and targeting Hybrid vehicles particularly vulnerable are the Prius cars.. The police seem to be unable or unwilling to do anything about this crime wave. Insurers are increasing renewal premium charges if you make a claim. In my opinion Toyota should come out with a modification which prevents the catalytic convertor from being stolen.. The catloc is only a deterrent it does not prevent the convertor being stolen by determined thieves who have no fear of getting caught.  I would be willing to pay for a 100% fix for this problem. That would be cheaper than having to get a new convertor each time. Toyota is losing Prius customers. I was told by the dealer two customers have P/X their Prius cars for the new Hybrid Yaris.because of this issue.

I recently looked under a Yaris Hybrid in a garage, and the catalytic convertor is right on the manifold, making it hard to access in the usual few minutes. 
20191023_161133.thumb.jpg.29e46b35e08d00061e63609f00e90cce.jpg  20191023_161241.thumb.jpg.a508724b319f6884e9d661b42fdeaeee.jpg

Only the resonators from the joint back to the tailpipe are accessible, and the thieves aren't interested.  
On the Prius, the first resonator is the catalytic convertor that the thieves target. This difference is why the Yaris Hybrid is a safer bet. 
Another thought is to debadge the Auris Hybrid, since there are other variants of that car (petrol, diesel). Unfortunately a Prius has no such option apart from trying different forms of protections/guards to at least deter or slow these thieves. 

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13 hours ago, Konrad C said:

Today my friend Waqar who is a member of this forum, has become the latest victim. His wife went to Leatherhead leisure centre in Surrey, and the theft took place in the carpark. His car is gen 2 Prius. 
A couple of months back whilst he was having the car MOT, he saw these shields made for fitting under the car.

IMG-20191021-WA0000.thumb.jpg.591e09cf4f5ed6f6209658ece75395e4.jpg 

He thought about getting one, but obviously did not. I don't have information on the garage supplying these shields. 
The car is now at another garage having a replacement cat' and sensor fitted. It is not a genuine Toyota, but the garage fitting, plus other sources have said, the thieves seem attracted to genuine Toyota cats! 
Waqar has told me the carpark manager at the leisure centre seemed shifty, whilst another employee seemed more honest and told him, there had been 9 similar thefts! I told Waqar to add this comment when reporting to the police. If there is a pattern, then they could investigate. If the police had the resources, they could put a bait car there, and follow to the scrap dealer. That's what I would want, but in reality things never work like that.
  

31 minutes ago, Konrad C said:

I recently looked under a Yaris Hybrid in a garageimageproxy.php?img=&key=567b4e06530f0081imageproxy.php?img=&key=567b4e06530f0081imageproxy.php?img=&key=567b4e06530f0081imageproxy.php?img=&key=567b4e06530f0081, and the catalytic convertor is right on the manifold, making it hard to access in the usual few minutes. 
20191023_161133.thumb.jpg.29e46b35e08d00061e63609f00e90cce.jpg  20191023_161241.thumb.jpg.a508724b319f6884e9d661b42fdeaeee.jpg

Only the resonators from the joint back to the tailpipe are accessible, and the thieves aren't interested.  
On the Prius, the first resonator is the catalytic convertor that the thieves target. This difference is why the Yaris Hybrid is a safer bet. 
Another thought is to debadge the Auris Hybrid, since there are other variants of that car (petrol, diesel). Unfortunately a Prius has no such option apart from trying different forms of protections/guards to at least deter or slow these thieves. 

I had just written a very long reply but my giant fingers got in the way and clicked a few buttons and ruined it all. I was having the perfect rant. 🙂

I own two cars, Honda Jazz 2005 and prius Gen 2 2007.They are both on the target list for these thieves.

couple of things, my car is now in a garage having an aftermarket cat conv fitted. Its setting back £350. Plus the hassle is thrown in for free. Also the sheet that Konrad has posted was for a Gen 3. 

Also the mechanic just rang. My car is ready, he is charging 350. The O2 sensor is OEM (i think denso are the suppliers or Bosch, cant remember). I have also asked his permission to post in this group the address and name. Not sure if i can but i leave it with them. This guy seems good. And has a decent workshop. Its not one of those under the railway line arches one. I will post the address towards the end of this post.

Ok couple of things I wanna get of my chest. My whole family has hybrids. It was heartbreaking to have it happened to my brother but since we live in a leafy little village in the heart of surrey, i thought hmmm its okay it wont happen to us. BUT when i thought that i didnt know the reputation of the Leatherhead Leisure Centre. The manager there looked dodgy (didnt look like the manager - attire was well out of place without going into too much detail 🙂 ). I spoke to the caretaker who started the conversation when my car was being recovered. He said one day last week 9 were stolen. And many more before that. The guy who recovered me said he recovers 5 vehicles on average a week. These stats are ridiculous and represent the reality on the ground. The caretaker was kind enough to look into CCTV for me and confirmed that he has the culprits on 3 different cameras. I have reported this to the police but I am not expecting anything to happen. A theft is a theft but in this country, even if the police catch the culprits, they ll probably get away with cleaning the leaves off the side of the road for a couple of hours. LEGAL SYSTEM IS A JOKE or even worse get a suspended sentence. THis is not a deterrent but only an enabler because every evil starts small and if there is no punishment for little crimes, bigger ones will continue to flourish. I have been told someone from the police will be in touch int he next 72 hours. Lets see what comes out of that. Generally speaking my faith in kindness of strangers is only hanging by a thread because of the nice people here. 

one thing is for sure, what goes around comes around, in this world and the hereafter. This is my positive take away from this experience. I knew owning this car could mean something like this one day but to have it happen to my wife all alone and vulnerable out in the bitter cold shows what these heartless worthless theives are doing. its not about the money, its about the safety of vulnerable ppl. Imagine if she came out of the leisure centre and the gang was there in the middle of cutting the thing out, they could have hurt her. This is my point around allowing small evil to flourish. It can only lead to bigger problems in society. 

Sorry RANT OVER. Gonna go and get my car.

Regards,
Waqar

 

p.s: thanks Konrad for supporting me through this. will keep you posted.

Also just realised that in my posted that got deleted, it had mentioned the mechanics details. please find these below.

 

RB Car Care and MOT Testing Station
Car repair and maintenance in London, England
 
Address: Unit 5, Jubilee Centre, Lombard Rd, London SW19 3TZ
Phone: 020 8417 1122
Appointments: rbcarcare.co.uk
Edited by waqar_lionheart
forgot to add some details
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I also am a victim of CAT theft right outside my house last August time, I was extremely impressed with the speed of the operation (NOT).

Less impressed with the local police force who almost by return of complaint sent me a missive saying that due to insufficient evidence there was little they could do and so they were archiving the incident!!. This in spite of the fact that several other cars in the area were done at the same time and there was at least one witness as to the getaway car with a complete description, insufficient evidence indeed.

However how to stop it,? well  removing the cat in an urban environment requires speed and not drawing attention until getaway has to be a key requirement. Saws or angle grinding is a noisy operation so it's not something you would want to do twice. In my case the nuts on the manifold were removed, an electric nut driver would have those undone in zero time with little or no noise and then an angle grinder or saw was used to cut the pipe at the rear of the cat, this is noisy when I heard it I didn't recognise it for what it was and by the time I made my way to the door to look out and see who was doing what the only thing to be seen was the back of a car disappearing down the bottom of the road.which did not arouse any suspicions.

When fitting the new exhaust it became apparent that a suitable size exhaust clamp can be fitted immediately behind the manifold nuts this will prevent access to the manifold nuts from underneath, yes the exhaust clamp can be removed but to do this means getting access from the front and side of the car. Hopefully faced with having to use the saw twice with the attendant noise might make them think twice and move on.

Did toy with the idea of getting a length of 10mm HT steel rod welded on to the cat running over the rear pipe, they would have to cut through that before getting to the pipe, HT steel would give a saw serious problems and slow up a Battery powered angle grinder considerably..

Anything that increases the time to remove and draws attention  has to be good.

Just a couple of thoughts.

 

 

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Just in case anyone hasn't seen this on the Auris section and is interested...

 

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Take a look on E bay there are a number of item to use to stop cat theft or at least to make it more difficult.  Sheets of steel, cables, clamps with cables.

Cheapest is the sheet of steel (with vents - important), then clamps (DIY fit) then a chap in London who will fit a run of cables over the whole of the cat area on a Prius for £170 all in and other cars.

Search on E bay for Catalytic clamps, catalytic anti-theft  or similar.

I have fitted a sheet of steel (bought through E bay designed for the Prius) and will also purchase a clamp and cables once I know the cat diameter on my Gen 3 Prius (anyone know?).

Glad to see a thief was flattened whilst stealing a cat - wonder if that could be made automatic with unauthorised lifting of the car by jack, or perhaps a small explosive charge!!!

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