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      05-04-2021, 12:06 AM   #1
flybigjet
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You've gotta be kidding me - catalytic converter cut out of car in broad daylight!

I had my 2005 Honda Element parked diagonally against a curb in the parking row in front of a medical building this afternoon. In broad daylight. Next to a major street. In a good part of town. In the rain.

I came out after 90 minutes or so and my entire catalytic converter was gone-- rotozipped right off with two cuts.

And could the dickheads have cut it inboard of the flange clamps, so I could minimize the damage and bolt up a replacement myself? Of course not-- that would've been way too simple.

Replacement (as it needs to be CA/CO CARB legal and not just EPA Compliant) is looking to be at least $3800-- I'll have to look tomorrow to see how much other damage was done and what other exhaust pieces will need replacement. I drove it ten minutes home (and wasn't THAT fun) and have it parked in the driveway now.

I've got a $1000 deductible on my comprehensive, but I'm afraid that if I file a claim, they'll total the truck (which I LOVE AND ADORE) since it's so old and not worth much.

Grr. And today was my birthday-- just what I needed-- apparently Elements are phenomenally popular for this type of theft in the Denver area. My wife had *literally* watched a thing about it on the local news about five minutes before I called her.

R.
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      05-04-2021, 02:42 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flybigjet View Post
I had my 2005 Honda Element parked diagonally against a curb in the parking row in front of a medical building this afternoon. In broad daylight. Next to a major street. In a good part of town. In the rain.

I came out after 90 minutes or so and my entire catalytic converter was gone-- rotozipped right off with two cuts.

And could the dickheads have cut it inboard of the flange clamps, so I could minimize the damage and bolt up a replacement myself? Of course not-- that would've been way too simple.

Replacement (as it needs to be CA/CO CARB legal and not just EPA Compliant) is looking to be at least $3800-- I'll have to look tomorrow to see how much other damage was done and what other exhaust pieces will need replacement. I drove it ten minutes home (and wasn't THAT fun) and have it parked in the driveway now.

I've got a $1000 deductible on my comprehensive, but I'm afraid that if I file a claim, they'll total the truck (which I LOVE AND ADORE) since it's so old and not worth much.

Grr. And today was my birthday-- just what I needed-- apparently Elements are phenomenally popular for this type of theft in the Denver area. My wife had *literally* watched a thing about it on the local news about five minutes before I called her.

R.
Happened over the road with a neighbours car, their 320i had theirs cut off while parked on the road at night and another neighbour had their MX5 one cut of in broad daylight while parked at a supermarket car park.
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      05-04-2021, 05:07 AM   #3
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I seem to remember this back in 05-06 time frame thieves were hitting dealers at night and here we are again the same is happening. the system does not hold criminals accountable.
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      05-04-2021, 05:34 AM   #4
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That sucks! The bastards probably saw you on the street and followed you until you parked. They were under the car as you entered the building. They also have likely stolen enough of them that they figured out that the pipe outboard of the flanges is just a tiny bit thinner and therefore cuts a little quicker.
I agree that too often the judges are either too lenient or they don't have sufficient scope within the law to be an effective deterrent but the scrap dealers that buy these obviously stolen cats have to be held accountable too. They are profiting from these crimes as well and I'm pretty sure that profiting from crime is illegal in most places.
I hope you can come to some arrangement with your insurance provider so you can keep your baby on the road. Have a better day and Happy Birthday.

P.S. I don't suppose there is any video surveillance of the parking lot that may have caught them in the act. Have you checked with the building management?
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      05-04-2021, 06:37 AM   #5
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A co-worker just suffered the same fate. His was parked in his driveway, happened overnight. He woke up the next morning to find his cut off his Audi.

Concur on checking with building management on surveillance footage. Hopefully, if they have camera, they've been updated in the past few years. I know most systems are black and white and grainy as hell. It's surprising at how many banks and hospitals camera system are so dated that they actually do no service in having them.
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      05-04-2021, 06:51 AM   #6
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These are being stolen in droves. The DFW area is getting hammered.
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      05-04-2021, 07:00 AM   #7
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I saw a story here recently too.

Oh, and Happy Birthday.
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      05-04-2021, 07:25 AM   #8
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Shakespeare was a little wrong. Kill all of the thieves first.
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      05-04-2021, 07:33 AM   #9
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Shakespeare was a little wrong. Kill all of the thieves first.
It's very tempting if you should see them in the act of stealing your cat and you have your piece on you..
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      05-04-2021, 07:45 AM   #10
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It's very tempting if you should see them in the act of stealing your cat and you have your piece on you..
A little off topic.. but years ago me and a buddy of mine went downtown to a club. I had a nice Camaro at the time and I parked a block away from a busy night club off the main strip. We waited in a short line and they would not let us in because of a dress-code... so we went back to the car to find the lights on and a guy with half of my dash out trying to get the radio. We DIDN'T call the cops, but handled the matter ourselves. Needless to say, he wont be doing that for a long while.

Again, that was many years ago in a place and time when you handled the situation that way. Now a days, when everyone is carrying, its not such a good idea.
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      05-04-2021, 07:53 AM   #11
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That sucks, I would be seriously pissed. If you really want to keep the car and don't want to go through insurance I suspect a few phone calls and you can probably get a "used cat" from a scrapper, and have a muffler shop do the install and save some cash.

Happy Birthday.
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      05-04-2021, 08:24 AM   #12
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That sucks, I would be seriously pissed. If you really want to keep the car and don't want to go through insurance I suspect a few phone calls and you can probably get a "used cat" from a scrapper, and have a muffler shop do the install and save some cash.

Happy Birthday.
Apparently, it's illegal to resell cats here-- go figure. And CO has adopted CA's CARB rules here and that pretty much doubles the price.

I'm going to call my local shop and a local muffler shop in a bit when they open and see what my options are. I'm pretty pissed. I DID NOT need this. Luckily, it's nothing that money can't fix, but still. I would have been less irritated if they'd left the flange-- that way I could have saved $500 for the aft part of the exhaust system-- maybe a local shop can weld in a new flange cheaper-- it's worth exploring.

Grr.
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      05-04-2021, 08:32 AM   #13
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Company right next door to us had both of their company cars hit over night a few months ago. 24 hour operation, lights in the parking lot and motion cameras. They caught one snap of a car in the lot and then it was gone. No plates or anything - in and out. They didn't notice for over a week as the cars are not driven much. Crazy they get that kind of $ out of them when they know they are mostly stolen.
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      05-04-2021, 08:40 AM   #14
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This is happening all over Seattle too. We live on a busy street and either side of our driveway is concealed with bushes, so kinda a dream come true for these thieves. We've talked about changing up our parking strategy so that instead of our FJ Cruiser being outside, it gets to stay safe and cozy in the garage next to the M2 and the wife's Leaf sits outside. Let's see those asshats steal the catalytic converter off a Leaf.
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      05-04-2021, 09:18 AM   #15
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Folks I know have all day shields welded on in order to protect this from happening. But yes, very common unfortunately.

That being said, how good does that exhaust sound right now???
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      05-04-2021, 09:21 AM   #16
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Man, that f#cking sucks. I feel your pain - our Facebook community page has a story like this posted every day - apparently this is the new crime wave. People are posting that the scumbags hit their cars right in their driveway.

Yesterday, someone posted that their husband caught the MFr's right in the act. They called the police who showed up and started to chase them when they drove off...but then gave up when the chase got on to Hwy 36 and excessive speed ensued.

Happy belated birthday, and I hope this doesn't become any more aggravating than it already is to fix. You can only hope that one day, the thieves get Karma quadrupled on their asses.
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      05-04-2021, 09:47 AM   #17
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Damn, I'm sorry some asshole did that to you. It's a nationwide problem right now. The precious metals in the cats go for big bucks at illegitimate salvage yards and fly by night recycling centers.

Disgusting that a meth-head will do thousands of dollars in damage to make a hundred or two for their next hit.....while their kids go hungry in 3 day old diapers.
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      05-04-2021, 11:22 AM   #18
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Quote:
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Folks I know have all day shields welded on in order to protect this from happening. But yes, very common unfortunately.

That being said, how good does that exhaust sound right now???
How did it sound?

Take the pipes completely off a Harley, fire it up, and you'll get an idea.

In other words, it sounded like ass.

And without the back pressure? It drove like ass as well.

I found a shop that'll do the repair for $1500-- since my deductible is $1000, it's better to eat the entire amount out of pocket. Ugh.

The muffler shop owner said that he's done about 30 Elements in the past 7 weeks-- one of which was a senior lady who'd parked in a disabled parking spot at a Costco.

WTF? I mean really.

The interesting thing is how good the cuts were-- the muffler shop guy said it was definitely professionals with a serious cutter. He says the amateurs make all sorts of jagged hacks to get the cat loose.

Also, he said that "although it happens", the pro's go for the OEM cats and leave the aftermarket ones alone due to the difference in value for the precious metals inside.

He wanted $500 to put a custom cage on the cat, but I've seen a few online for about $300 that will probably work with the (now) aftermarket cat-- might be a little modification required, but that'll be a good weekend project.

The whole thing is kind of depressing.

R.
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      05-04-2021, 11:30 AM   #19
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Forgive me for this stupid question but what good does a cat cage do if these ‘professionals’ know what they’re doing? Couldn’t they just cut the cage as well? Would hate for you to go through this again.

Happy Birthday BTW. Straight pipe the Honda and blend in with the 17 year olds.
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      05-04-2021, 11:32 AM   #20
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How did it sound?

Take the pipes completely off a Harley, fire it up, and you'll get an idea.

In other words, it sounded like ass.

And without the back pressure? It drove like ass as well.

I found a shop that'll do the repair for $1500-- since my deductible is $1000, it's better to eat the entire amount out of pocket. Ugh.

The muffler shop owner said that he's done about 30 Elements in the past 7 weeks-- one of which was a senior lady who'd parked in a disabled parking spot at a Costco.

WTF? I mean really.

The interesting thing is how good the cuts were-- the muffler shop guy said it was definitely professionals with a serious cutter. He says the amateurs make all sorts of jagged hacks to get the cat loose.

Also, he said that "although it happens", the pro's go for the OEM cats and leave the aftermarket ones alone due to the difference in value for the precious metals inside.

He wanted $500 to put a custom cage on the cat, but I've seen a few online for about $300 that will probably work with the (now) aftermarket cat-- might be a little modification required, but that'll be a good weekend project.

The whole thing is kind of depressing.

R.
Again, sorry you're dealing with this. Is there a reason they go for specific cars, or are all cars potential targets for catalytic converter theft?
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      05-04-2021, 11:41 AM   #21
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I was cleaning up around our tennis courts and found a cat in the long grass. Probably removed from a car in the area and discarded when the crooks thought they were going to get caught. I understand that there is some value here but taking it in somewhere might cause someone to think I had removed it. It is amazing to think that people go to such lengths to steal something instead of getting a job. It is too bad that the people with jobs have to suffer after this type of act.
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      05-04-2021, 11:42 AM   #22
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Again, sorry you're dealing with this. Is there a reason they go for specific cars, or are all cars potential targets for catalytic converter theft?
I think it may be down to ease. No car is untouchable but SUVs are accessible with minimal effort and from the OPs pics, it looks like the location of the cats is more or less "presented on a silver platter" for people targeting cats

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I was cleaning up around our tennis courts and found a cat in the long grass. Probably removed from a car in the area and discarded when the crooks thought they were going to get caught. I understand that there is some value here but taking it in somewhere might cause someone to think I had removed it. It is amazing to think that people go to such lengths to steal something instead of getting a job. It is too bad that the people with jobs have to suffer after this type of act.
Poor work ethic + instant gratification is a huge temptation. And with cats being as valuable as they are for scrap... Some random person bought my secondaries off me for 350 and I was probably just gonna trash them.
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