California mechanic designs catalytic converter lock

Catalytic converter thefts in Washington have been out of control lately, but a California mechanic may have found a deterrent.

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“As laid back as I was, I thought I was slipping a bunch of spikes under the car when I pulled over just to surprise the thieves,” said Dave Ross of KIRO Newsradio.

Bill Todd, owner of a garage in Morro Bay, California, has another idea.

“We looked at the current units that were on the market and as a smog tech one of the things I saw was that it was quite difficult to see the catalytic converter once we turned the machine on to do a smog inspection,” Todd explained. . “We were supposed to be able to inspect it. So that was one of the issues I saw.

“I came up with a design, a stainless steel device that basically attaches in less than three minutes. I put a video on YouTube showing my son recording me doing it – as easy as a spanner 14 millimeters and a three-quarter inch wrench,” he said.

It’s basically a device that attaches to the bolts that people use to steal catalytic converters.

“Then there’s a lower plate that attaches to the pipe to prevent them from cutting through the pipe,” Todd added. “And both devices are held on with what they call ‘detachable ties’, so when you tighten the bolts the end of the head comes off making it very difficult to remove.”

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Todd clarified that it was not an anti-theft device, but a theft deterrent.

“You give a thief enough time, he’ll steal the car if he can,” he said. “…Thieves, if you’ve ever watched the videos online, they remove these things in 20 to 30 seconds.”

People who have already purchased the device, Todd says, had to sign a disclaimer that acknowledges that this device does not guarantee the car will not be stolen.

“So you’re slowing them down enough to make them think twice about chasing your car?” asked Dave.

“Exactly,” Todd replied. “Since I put them on vehicles in this area, we haven’t seen anyone steal one from a car with a device. But in Seattle, I think it’s the Prius capital of the world, so I think it would be a really good testing ground for my product there.

The devices cost around $200. Find more information online here.

Listen to Seattle’s Morning News with Dave Ross and Colleen O’Brien weekday mornings from 5 to 9 a.m. on KIRO Newsradio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

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