South Pasadena police Department officials are warning residents they have seen a rise in stolen catalytic converters in the city.
“While we always suggest locking your vehicle doors and windows, catalytic converters are located underneath the vehicle making them difficult to secure,” explained SPPD Crime Prevention Officer Richard Lee. “The thief simply crawls under your vehicle and with two simple cuts, removes your catalytic converter.”
Lee says the process only takes a few minutes.
Catalytic converters, noted the officer, are stolen for the three precious metals that are inside of them: platinum, palladium and rhodium. The amount of each precious metal in one catalytic converter is very small.
“These metals are then sold as scrap metals. Replacing a catalytic converter can easily cost up to one thousand dollars,” said Lee. “SUVs are the most popular vehicle targeted because of their high ground clearance making it easy for the thief to crawl underneath your vehicle.”
Locks, noted Lee, can be purchased to help secure a battery. “Be on the lookout for anyone loitering underneath or tampering with the engine hood, and call the police on any suspicious activity,” he said.
Here are some tips to remember:
- Be suspicious of anyone walking around and looking under cars.
- Be suspicious of someone claiming to be working under the car during nighttime hours.
- At night park in well-lit areas.