DANVILLE, Va. – The Danville Police Department says thieves are stealing catalytic converters from vehicle exhaust systems and selling the metal. Most theft reports are coming from owners of the Toyota Prius and Hondas.
The metals in the converters are expensive. Thieves sell the converters for several hundred dollars per piece, depending on the size of the converter and the current rate on the metals inside it.
The catalytic converter is a round canister that connects two pieces of piping in the exhaust. You will see a gaping space in the middle of your exhaust if the converter is missing, and you will likely see signs of the piping being cut away.
Thieves look for easy targets when it comes to catalytic converter theft, and a few simple steps help make your car or SUV a less likely target. Always park in well-lit areas when possible. If you have a personal garage, keep your car in the garage with the door closed when the vehicle is not in use. Be aware of unusual sawing/wrenching noises coming from the street or someone lifting a car up on a jack. If you have a security system on your car, calibrate it so vibration sets it off. Also, consider engraving your VIN onto the catalytic converter to make it easier to identify should it get stolen.
There are products available that make theft more difficult (wiring, cages), however, these can cost several hundred dollars to purchase and install.
The Danville Police Department is asking anyone with information about these thefts to call 434-793-0000 or use their crime tips app CARE at https://www.p3tips.com/tipform.aspx?ID=818#.