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Catalytic Converter Thefts
Over the last couple of years, the Newport Beach Police Department has noted an uptick in catalytic converters stolen from vehicles. These thefts have been occurring throughout the city – not in just one targeted neighborhood or area. In fact, this trend is not unique to Newport Beach; we have heard reports of increased catalytic converter thefts happening across the country.
Thieves steal catalytic converters because they contain precious metals – typically platinum, palladium, and rhodium. One of the most common vehicles we seen targeted for these crimes is the Toyota Prius. Vehicles with more ground clearance are also common targets since they offer easier access to the part. In most instances, it takes just a minute or two for a thief to remove a catalytic converter.
With this information in mind, consider one or more of these methods for preventing your catalytic converter from being stolen:
- Park your car in your garage if you have one.
- When parking outside, park in well-lit areas and/or close to a building entrance.
- Have the bolts welded.
- Purchase a security device that can make it more difficult to access or remove the catalytic converter.
- Have your VIN number engraved on the catalytic converter so it is easy to identify if stolen.
- If parking in the driveway or close enough to your home, install a video surveillance camera that has your vehicle in view.
- If you have a car alarm, set it so that vibration will activate it. This will set the alarm off if a thief tries to saw it off.
Please call the Newport Beach Police Department immediately if you hear or see suspicious activity: 949-644-3717
Don’t forget these other important vehicle security tips:
- Lock and secure all doors and windows, even if you are away for only a few minutes.
- Never leave your keys in you are not present.
- Remove all valuables from your vehicle even when you park your vehicle inside your garage.
- Treat your garage door opener like a key to your home. Remove it from your vehicle when not parking in the garage.