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DENVER (KDVR) — Thieves are targeting catalytic converters at an alarming rate.

FOX31 spoke with a woman who had hers stolen. She said she might lose her vehicle if she files a claim.

Clothilde Syndor lives in an apartment building in Cherry Creek and said when she got her insurer involved after having her catalytic converter stolen, she was told her only means of transportation, her SUV, might be declared a total loss.

Sydnor is somewhat of a pioneer in Colorado.

“My dad and mom lived on a farm, so I started driving a tractor when I was 7 years old,” Sydnor said. She was recognized for being one of the first women to operate heavy machinery in the state.

Driving a car to her doctor’s appointment is no sweat for her.

“I started my car and it was making all this noise. I almost jumped out, I didn’t know what was wrong,” Sydnor said.

That noise happened to be the effect of having her catalytic converter stolen. She even has photos from security camera video of the theft.

Does insurance cover catalytic converter theft?

Aside from this thievery, Sydnor has a warning for Colorado drivers about their insurance coverage.

“Be sure that they know what their insurance will pay for,” Sydnor said.

After she called her insurer to report the theft, they told her it could be a total loss.

“They’re debating whether they’re going to pay the guy to fix it or whether they’re going to get rid of it,” Sydnor said.

AAA Colorado said drivers should have a transparent relationship with their insurers. Ask them questions about your coverage often, even after something happens.

“If your vehicle’s older, then this could be a total loss. Talk to your insurance agent, talk to your adjuster before you file the claim if it’s really important that that vehicle is not totaled,” Skyler McKinley, with AAA Colorado, said.

Unfortunately for Sydnor, this isn’t the first time her car was targeted. Back in January, she said thieves stole another catalytic converter from her vehicle. She paid for that one out of pocket.

“At my age, I need a car for going back and forth to the doctor,” she said.

AAA said there are legal, after-market, catalytic converters available for folks who choose to get their vehicles fixed without filing an insurance claim, but some of those can be costly.