Within the past week, the West University Place Police Department has noticed a rise in the theft of catalytic converters from vehicle exhaust systems. Although all vehicles can be a target to the theft, Toyota Priuses are the most recently victimized vehicle type in West U.
Suspects have focused on catalytic converters due to the value of the metals used in the manufacturing. Catalytic converters contain platinum, rhodium, and palladium. The metals are expensive, and thieves sell the converters to scrap yards for several hundred dollars per piece, depending on the size of the converter and the current rate on the metals inside it.
Thieves look for easy targets when it comes to catalytic converter theft, and a few simple steps help make your car or SUV a less likely target.
- In public parking lots, park in well-lit areas near building entrances or busy access roads when possible.
- When you are at home, park in your garage if you have one. Remember to close the garage door.
- Try not to leave your vehicle unattended for long periods of time.
- Thieves tend to target hybrid vehicles, pickups, and SUVS. If you own one of these vehicles, be extra cautious of where you leave your vehicle unattended.
- Consider contacting your mechanic about ways your catalytic converter can be protected, such as the installation of an after-market device or having the catalytic converter welded in place.
- Activate your vehicle’s security alarm if it is equipped with one.