EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – The number of reported thefts of catalytic converters continues to rise across the nation and in Texas, according to recent data provided by State Farm.

The insurance company reported more claims for catalytic converter thefts in Texas in the first eight months of 2022 than they did in all of 2021 (4,830 vs. 3,730).

The insurance giant also reports that the frequency of these thefts increased 109-percent nationwide between June of 2021 and this past June.

The study warns drivers about something that thieves already know – that many of them see a catalytic converter as an easy target to steal with a potentially high payout due to the value of some of the metals used to make the part.

They note that SUV owners are particularly at risk due to the height of their vehicle.

A catalytic converter is a part of gas/diesel-powered vehicles required by law since 1975 that reduces the contaminants contained in exhaust fumes.

State Farm recommends that drivers park their vehicle in a well-lit area or in an area under surveillance to be as safe as possible.

Additionally, they encourage drivers to engrave their VIN on their catalytic converter to deter criminals from taking it in the first place.