With an increase in catalytic converter thefts in Oceanside and throughout San Diego County, the Oceanside Police Department issued a series of prevention tips Friday.
A catalytic converter is an exhaust emission control device that converts toxic gases and pollutants from internal combustion engines into less-toxic pollutants.
Catalytic converter thefts are expected to grow by 30% over the next two years, police said. They arrested six suspects suspected of the crime in Oceanside Thursday following a vehicle and foot pursuit.
Vehicles often targeted by such thieves include the:
- Honda Fit/Jazz,
- Toyota Prius, Camry and Corolla
- Lexus RX
- Ford F150-F550
- Ferrari F430
- Dodge 2500, and
- Kia Sedona
The rhodium, palladium and platinum precious metals used in converters are valuable. Rhodium can sell for $20,000 per ounce, according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau.
Police suggested ways for residents to deter thefts:
- Parking in a garage or well-lit area.
- Having catalytic converters welded to cars.
- Parking near building entrances or in high-traffic areas.
- Calibrating vehicle security systems to detect vibration.
- Purchasing cameras that clearly capture where the car is parked.
- Obtaining a security device for the catalytic converter. Cat Strap and Cat Clamp devices both cost less than $200.
- Staying vigilant and reporting suspicious activity.
Police said services and products are widely available to secure and deter converter thefts. They urged residents to talk to a mechanic about what is best for their vehicles.
Those victimized by a catalytic converter theft should report the crime to the appropriate law enforcement agency.
– City News Service