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San Diego County warned of rise in catalytic converter thefts

Catalytic converter thieves get 'selective'
Posted at 10:33 AM, Jan 14, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-14 13:33:47-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) – Local authorities are advising San Diegans to protect their vehicles from thieves targeting catalytic converters.

Authorities say they have seen “a startling increase” in catalytic converter thefts. The thefts often occur “in neighborhoods near main thoroughfares, freeways, or at commercial establishments.”

According to authorities, thieves use tools such as saws to remove a catalytic converter from underneath a vehicle; the process typically takes a few minutes.

Stolen converters are then sold “for the precious metals they contain after being stolen,” authorities said.

Authorities recommend the public do the following to protect their vehicles from a catalytic converter theft:

  • Park in a garage or well-lit area if a garage is not available
  • Park near building entrances or in high traffic areas
  • Have your catalytic converter welded to your car
  • Calibrate your vehicle security system to detect vibration
  • Purchase cameras that clearly capture where you park
  • Purchase a security device for your catalytic converter (“Cat Strap” and “Cat Clamp” devices both cost less than $200)

Vehicles not in view of surveillance systems and Toyota Prius cars are considered the most frequently targeted vehicles.