Police warn of uptick in catalytic converter thefts

The Hemet Police Department last week urged residents to be on the lookout for thieves stealing catalytic converters, which contain precious metals and are expensive to replace.

Police said an influx in thefts of the auto parts have been reported in recent months. Police have used video surveillance to track down suspects, but the part can be stolen in less than a minute, making it tough for thieves to be caught in the act, police said.

Catalytic converters, which are crucial aspects of a vehicle's exhaust system, can cost thousands of dollars to replace. They can be sold on the street for up to $250 each. Some vehicles contain more than one.

Police urged residents to follow the following preventive tips:

  • Park in a locked garage, or in a well-lit area if possible
  • Engrave a vehicle's VIN number to the catalytic converter
  • Have it welded to the vehicle's frame, making it harder to steel
  • Install a car alarm that detects vibrations

Anyone with information regarding thefts of catalytic converters is asked to call the police department at 951-765-2400.

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