Two local companies are successfully preventing catalytic converter thefts with their inventions

Published: Oct. 3, 2022 at 8:01 PM EDT
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - Toledo continues to see scores of catalytic converters ripped off.

Thieves can easily access them on most cars. All crooks have to do is shimmy underneath your car, cut a few wires and be gone.

Most people don’t think there is anything we can do to stop these thieves from taking converters, but Cat Clamp in Toledo and Cat Strap in Whitehouse make products that they say have successfully stopped many thefts.

The Cat Clamp and the Cat Strap look different, but their job is the same. They both make it extremely difficult for thieves to cut a catalytic converter out of your car.

Here’s how the Cat Clamp works: “If you have a Cat Clamp installed then the wire rope is attached to that pipe,” said Kate Brueggemeier, Cat Clamp’s general manager. “Even if they could get to the pipe somehow then because the wire rope is around the frame they have to cut every piece of wire rope as well.”

The Cat Strap is a bright orange strap with protectants inside.

“Inside of there are aircraft-grade steel cables and a piece of ultra-hardened band steel, and it’s really difficult for the saw blade to grip the cables,” said Cat Strap co-owner Dave Birsen.

Both the products cost less than $200 while replacing a stolen catalytic converter can cost up to $5,000. Plus supply chain issues make them hard to replace.

The companies say the products are easy to assemble. Birsen said any auto shop should be able to put a strap on your vehicle in around 60 minutes. It’s the same for the Cat Clamp.

“We market it as a DIY product if you are relatively mechanical you can install this yourself. If you’re not then you can take it to your trusted mechanic, or a dealership, or somebody relatively handy that you know,” said Brueggemeier.

Both the Cat Clamp and the Cat Strap have had many success stories.

“People will call us and say that all their neighbors were hit, but they had a CatClamp on, and it protected them from getting their converter stolen,” said Brueggemeier.

Birsen said someone in Canada who has a Cat Strap called him and said, “They found a pile of saw blades underneath one of their trucks, they tried to cut through the strap, and they weren’t able to get through it so you can kind of see that they tried, but it was still intact.”

Both the Cat Strap and Cat Clamp are produced in the Toledo area. They can be purchased online and shipped nationwide.

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