The precious metals used in the converters make them easy for thieves to sell to scrap yards.
“Somebody just came in and went underneath his car and sliced out the catalytic converter,“ Kerri Shore said about a recent theft of one from her husband's vehicle.
She said that, while they were sleeping, their Toyota Prius was one of many cars targeted in the latest uptick of catalytic converter thefts in Raleigh.
“My husband went to start his car to go to work on Monday morning," Shore said. "It literally just sounded like something's going to blow up. It sounded really off.
"He was not able to drive it, so we had to get it towed, and now the mechanic is working on it.”
Investigators say the primary car targeted is the Prius, but trucks are also a target. They said these incidents usually take place overnight and at various locations throughout the city.
Since Sept. 21, the Raleigh Police Department has received 40 incident reports regarding this type of theft. In Durham, they’ve reported a recent uptick as well with more than a dozen reports. As for the Chapel Hill Police Department, they’ve only had only one report since Sept. 1.
“It saddens me that they’re doing this," Shore said. “We filed the police report very easily the next day, and when we filed it, they were not surprised at all, because this has been a common thing that has happened in the last few months in our area.
"Even when we talk to insurance, our insurance claims person was not shocked one bit. She said this is been happening a lot lately.”
To reduce your risk of becoming a target, officials with the Durham Police Department suggest parking in a garage, by a security camera or in a well-lit area. Check on your vehicle frequently and even engrave your catalytic converter with a distinguishing mark. Also, make sure your vehicle’s security system is set to the most sensitive setting.
“I would say, if you drive a Prius, just be aware that this is apparently a common incident that can happen to you," Shore said.
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