OCEANSIDE–The Oceanside Police Department is warning residents of a startling increase of catalytic converter thefts in the city and throughout San Diego county.
The thefts occur near main roads, freeways or at commercial establishments, according to Oceanside police.
Authorities said catalytic converters are a critical exhaust component of vehicles located underneath vehicles.
The suspects often remove catalytic converters with saws and snipping tools. The entire process can take just minutes. Catalytic converters are sold for the precious metals they contain after being stolen.
Most frequently targeted vehicles are in commercial establishments that are not in view of surveillance systems, and the Toyota Prius.
To prevent the theft of your catalytic converter authorities recommend the following:
• Park in a garage or well lit area if a garage is not available.
• Park near building entrances or in high traffic areas.
• Have your catalytic converter welded to your car.
• Calibrate your vehicle security system to detect vibration.
• Purchase cameras that clearly capture where you park.
• Purchase a security device for your catalytic converter.
“Cat Strap” and “Cat Clamp” devices both cost less than $200.
If you see anything suspicious, call 9-1-1.