Shelton PD warns of increased catalytic converter thefts

Shelton Police

Shelton Police

Contributed photo

SHELTON — Catalytic converters are the latest target for thieves, according to police, who have taken to the department’s Facebook page to offer tips on preventing the crime.

Police Lt. Robert Kozlowsky said there have been nine reports from both residential and commercial sites of catalytic converters stolen from vehicles. Thefts have occurred throughout the city, he said.

"We are starting to see an increase in catalytic converter theft within our state and across the nation,” Officer John Staples stated on the department’s crime prevention Facebook page.

“The thieves are using electric saws or exhaust tools to steal the catalytic converter because the converters contain expensive metals, which the criminal can receive cash for,” Staples added. “These catalytic converters can be removed (and) stolen from your vehicle in less than one minute.”

A catalytic converter is an exhaust emission control device that reduces toxic gases and pollutants in exhaust gas from an internal combustion engine into less-toxic pollutants by catalyzing a redox reaction.

On the page, the department states that the top vehicles for this specific theft are the Chevrolet Express and Silverado; Ford F-150, F-250, F-350 and Econoline E-350; Honda Accord, Element, CR-V and Odyssey; Jeep Cherokee and Liberty; and Toyota Prius, Sequoia, Tacoma, Tundra and 4-Runner.

Among the tips offered by law enforcement are installing a car alarm; park vehicles in a well-lit area or a garage if possible; and park close to building entrances, the nearest roads or location with high visibility. Police also recommend parking vehicles close to curbs, fences or walls, if possible, to help reduce access to the underside of the vehicle.

brian.gioiele@hearstmediact.com