Police warn of increased catalytic converter thefts – and the #1 victim is the Prius

Do you drive a Toyota Prius? Might want to take extra precautions to ensure that thieves don’t saw off your catalytic converter.

Olympia Police report that there have been 12 reports of these catalytic converter thefts in the past three weeks alone – and 11 of the victim vehicles have been a Toyota Prius, model years 2002-2009. The thefts are happening all over Thurston County and the Puget Sound, according to OPD.

Thieves jack the cars up, take a power saw to the catalytic converter, saw it off, and they’re gone, all within a matter of minutes. Thieves can then sell the converters to metal recyclers for quick cash, the Police Department said.

An extra-large catalytic converter from a foreign vehicle is worth between $261 and $473, while small, domestic cats can be worth around $100, according to metal recyclers.

If your catalytic converter gets stolen—you’re going to know about it right away. With the cat gone, the exhaust system no longer reduces engine noise. And that makes your car very loud. You will hear loud roaring sound, that will get louder as you push the gas pedal.

If you fall victim to a theft, make sure to file a police report right away, and call 911 if you interrupt the crime while it’s in progress. The odds of getting your converter back are slim, but following case trends can help police officers stop thieves in the act.

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