PROPERTY CASUALTY 360 | February 28, 2023
With catalytic converter theft increasing exponentially across the nation, not even the famous Oscar Mayer Wienermobile is safe from being opportunistic thieves. According to a Las Vegas news outlet, it was targeted in early February 2023.
Even though theft of catalytic converters is far more common on personal vehicles, commercial vehicles are being targeted with increasing frequency. In January, 18 catalytic converters were stolen from Amazon trucks in Warren Country, Pennsylvania. Amazon has been a target of the crime in recent years with vehicles being hit in Texas and Indiana. In January, catalytic converters were stolen from a whopping 36 school buses across two lots in Connecticut.
Chris Sestito, Premiere Services' Chief Operating officer, was recently interviewed by PropertyCasualty360.com. In the interview, he elaborated on the fact that though catalytic converter theft is not to the scale that we're seeing with personal vehicles, it is on the rise.
“We work with a couple of TPA firms that work with cities across the country, and we have done some claims on shuttle buses and city vehicles, and we are seeing more and more. Let’s face it; thieves are opportunists. They are going to go where the picking is ripe. If a thief wants to get 10 catalytic converters, they can stop at 10 different cars in a neighborhood or hop one fence, roll from truck to truck or bus to bus, and be done with it in 13 minutes or under.”
Sestito went on to explain to PropertyCasualty360.com that it can take less than 60 seconds for experienced catalytic converter thieves to steal the part from a vehicle. Continuing, he said, "That’s when the thief has to jack the car up. When they are dealing with buses or box trucks, there is enough ground clearance that they don’t even have to do that. They just have to slide under the vehicle, cut it right and move on to the next one."
About Premiere Services
Premiere Services offers a national service that handles theft and vandalism claims for all private passenger vehicles and the majority of commercial vehicles. Claims handlers can send an assignment to Premiere Services via CCCOne®, warm transfer phone call, email (email@example.com), or through Premiere’s secure online quick claim portal found at https://premiereservices.com/quick-claim-form/. There are no setup fees, additional costs or IT integration needed.
Premiere Services has been exclusively serving the insurance claims industry for 30 years. The company was started after Mark Puente experienced a theft loss, and after the claims was finished, he felt “there had to be a better way”. That has been the guiding principle for the company since 1991.