PETALUMA – According to two recent Petaluma Police Department (PPD) Press Releases, the theft of catalytic converters from vehicles has seen a sharp rise over the last week. The department accounted for 15 thefts on June 12, and said that these had accumulated over six days.
The thefts are occurring in residential neighborhoods overnight. The majority of these reports came primarily from three areas; the Westridge subdivision, the vicinity of Maria Drive and Rainer Avenue, and along various streets near US 101 and Washington.
On June 14, the PPD reported that two more catalytic converter thefts had occurred overnight. This time the thefts occurred on the Eastside Circle and Kearny Court.
Catalytic converters are often the target of thieves as they contain various precious metals, including palladium, platinum and gold. The converters are easy targets on later model trucks and SUV’s as they can be removed fairly easily on these model types. Thieves typically sell the stolen converters to metal recyclers for $50 to $250, however the cost of repairs to victims can sometimes exceed $4,000.
The PPD offered the following tips to help prevent the theft of these devices from vehicles.
1) Park your vehicles inside a garage or a secure side yard.
2) If you must park in a driveway, motion detector lights or continuous illumination may be a deterrent.
3) Install a vehicle motion detector.
4) Educate friends and neighbors about these thefts.
5) Have extra metal welded to your exhaust system, it is often cheaper than your insurance deductible.
6) Install a Catalytic Converter Protection Device – these are often a more expensive option, but some prefer this alternative.