SANTA CRUZ, Calif. (KION) Santa Cruz police say they have seen nearly a dozen reports of catalytic converters stolen from Toyota Prius cars, an increase that they say is happening around the Bay Area.
Thieves mainly target trucks or SUVs that are higher off the ground, according to police, but this crew is associated with an older white four-door sedan mainly targets Prii.
Police said catalytic converter thefts increase when the cost of scrap metal rises. They contain metals such as platinum, palladium and rhodium and attach to the exhaust system under the car.
To prevent thefts, police suggest the following:
- Prii owners should park in their driveway or garage.
- Cars should be parked under lights in areas where people passing by will see the var.
- Calibrate the alarm to go off when it detects vibration.
- If the catalytic converter is a bolt-on model, have the bolts welded shut and have extra metal welded to the exhaust system.
- Install a catalytic converter protection device.
- Etch the vehicle's license plate number on the converter in several locations.
Anyone who sees or hears something suspicious near a parked Prius should call 911. Victims of theft should file a police report.
Anyone with information about the thefts is asked to call Santa Cruz police at 831-420-5820 or 831-420-5995 to remain anonymous.