Catalytic converter thefts are once again on the rise in the Santa Clarita Valley, according to sheriff’s officials.
This past weekend alone, approximately 14 thefts were reported, primarily from Prius, according to Deputy Natalie Arriaga, SCV Sheriff’s Station spokeswoman.
A catalytic converter is a vehicle emission-control device, typically located in front of the vehicle’s muffler, that makes toxic pollutants in exhaust gas less toxic.
The thefts, which have been taking places for years due to the small amounts of valuable metal in the converters, have seen another uptick in the last few months. During the first week of November, for example, several thousand dollars’ worth of the parts were stolen from car lots on Creekside Road.
Sheriff’s officials suggest residents protect their vehicles from theft by engraving their license plate onto the converter.
“Our deputies are continuously working hard to conduct crime suppressions and recover stolen catalytic converters,” a Nixle released by sheriff’s officials read. “Engraving/etching your license plate onto the converter will assist deputies in locating its original owner.”
Other ways to protect from theft include parking vehicles in well-lit areas with surveillance cameras, having bolts on the converter welded shut and always reporting suspicious activity seen in neighborhoods, per sheriff’s officials.