The Bloomington-based insurer this week said more than 18,000 claims related to the theft of the auto part were filed nationwide from July 1, 2020, to June 30, 2021.
Of those claims, one in 10 were filed in Illinois, the company said.
The national thefts figure from the 12-month span represents a 293% increase from the 4,500 claims logged in the 12-month period comprising the last half of 2019 and the first half of 2020.
State Farm also said it has paid out more than $33.7 million to cover losses cited in the 18,000 claims. Payouts for the 4,500 claims totaled around $9 million.
"The trend is accelerating," the company said in statement. "In the last 6 months of 2020, State Farm paid out slightly more than $12 million in claims for catalytic converter theft, but in the first 6 months of 2021, that number has grown to more than $21 million in paid claims."
Michael T. Keating, State Farm vice president of operations for property and casualty claims, in a statement cited the coronavirus pandemic as fuel for the boost in catalytic converter thefts.
A catalytic converter is made up of precious metals — thieves can scrap the metal in exchange for cash — and converts an engine’s emissions into more environmental-friendly gases to emit out of its exhaust.
James K. Mathis, 33, is charged with home invasion, aggravated domestic battery causing great bodily harm, aggravated battery-strangulation, domestic battery, criminal trespass to a residence and criminal damage to property.