Somerville welder creates device to prevent catalytic converter theft

SOMERVILLE – Are you tired of seeing catalytic converters stolen? So is a Somerville man, and now he is inventing a device to stop them.

“I would say to them there are a lot better ways to make money without destroying people’s lives and pocketbooks,” said Ronald Royse, an inventor and decades long welder.

Royse just got a provisional patent on a steel cage he created to keep the pesky thieves away. He treated the cage with a coating that is supposed to dull saw blades.

“Even if they were able to cut the pipes on the side of the catalytic converter, they don’t have the room to slide it out,” adds Royse.

It can be installed on any vehicle for a few hundred dollars. A new converter can cost thousands. Royse says he was inspired to create the device after a friend had her converter taken. He hopes his device slows down the crooks or scares them off.

“I have never seen anything like this. This is crazy,” said Royse, talking about the rise in catalytic converter thefts, “Its a plague. It’s a plague.”

The device was modeled for a Toyota Prius but can be used on any car. He expects to start installing them next week. The Prius is one of the most targeted cars for catalytic converter thefts. Royse says the converters have a high concentration of palladium and other precious metals. The converters can be sold for scrap.

Just this week, an east Somerville man had thieves go after the converter on his Prius. It was the second time he had been here. He told WBZ that the theft cost him more than $1000 to fix. He even made an offer to the police to use his vehicle as a bait car to catch them in the act.

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