Almost 3,000 catalytic converters were reported stolen throughout Ireland in a three-year period from 2020-2022.
According to figures obtained by FactorFocus.ie from An Garda Síochána, thieves made off with a total of 2,934 catalytic converters during this period, with lockdown-stricken 2020 making up over half of these thefts.
The garda figures show that 1,487 catalytic converters were stolen in 2020, with 881 robbed in 2021 and a further 566 in 2022.
The increased number of thefts in 2020 is most likely due to the prolonged covid-lockdowns that year, where most cars would have been idle for days on end, making them an easier target for criminals.
Catalytic converters contain expensive metals that have shot up in price in recent years, and can easily be removed from a vehicle in less than a minute.
FactorFocus.ie also made a request to the Garda Press Office for additional information – including a breakdown of thefts per county; the most stolen from car models; and how many arrests have been made in connection to catalytic converter thefts?
The Garda Press Office replied that: “A breakdown of these figures are not readily available”.
According to data obtained via Sky News in the UK, almost 100,000 thefts of catalytic converters have been recorded in three years, with criminals across the UK stealing 75 per day in 2022.
The data shows that some 97,023 catalytic converters were stolen from the beginning of 2020 to 30th November 2022.
London had the highest number of thefts – with 36,658. Only 544 crimes were solved.