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Catalytic converter thefts are on the rise nationwide. If you see something, say something!

PHOTO: Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department

Catalytic converter thefts are on the rise throughout the country.

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Catalytic converter thefts are on the rise throughout the country.

Thefts of catalytic converters has been happening for decades, but it is now surging as thieves take advantage of a spike in the prices of rare metals contained within the automotive devices. It has quickly become a nationwide problem with victims everywhere. Between January and May of 2021, thieves stole nearly 26,000 converters nationwide. That’s an average of 5,000 per month.

L.A. County Sheriff’s Detective Gelardo who investigates catalytic converter thefts said, “Replacing a catalytic converter can cost a victim up to $1,500. The most difficult part for detectives is that these kinds of thefts are difficult to track, nearly impossible to prevent and have been unsuccessful to prosecute.”

Catalytic converter theft can happen anywhere, but thieves tend to target vehicles parked in driveways, on the street or in poorly lit areas.

Detective Gelardo offered these tips as the best way to protect yourself:

• Park your vehicle in a secure garage if you have access to one.

• If you don’t have access to a garage, park in a well-lit area or an area with a lot of people around.

• Put security cameras outside your home aimed at your vehicle.

• If you see something, say something. Be sure to report suspicious activity, anyone lingering around vehicles and/or looking under vehicles to Lancaster Sheriff’s Station by calling (661) 948-8466 or the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Station-Phelan Substation at (760) 995-8781.

If you have been a victim of a catalytic converter theft in the Antelope Valley, please contact Detective Gelardo at (661) 940-3871. Remember, if you see something say something! Or in the Tri-Community contact the Sheriff’s Phelan Substation at (760) 995-8781.

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