Catalytic converter thefts

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Lake Forest Park Police Department -Lieutenant Diego Zanella 

Catalytic converter thefts. King County is experiencing a dramatic increase in catalytic converter thefts and Lake Forest Park is not immune to this trend.

A catalytic converter is an emission control device located in the car’s exhaust system to reduce harmful emissions. It contains rare and expensive earth metals, like rhodium, platinum, and palladium.

Thieves usually use a wrench or a battery-powered cut-off tool to detach the catalytic converter from the exhaust system and the whole operation takes between two to five minutes to complete. The street value of a catalytic converter is approx. $200 but replacing it can cost up to $4,000.

These are some tips to discourage the thieves:
• If possible, park your vehicle in well-lit areas, garages, or close to building
entrances.
• Install security cameras.
• If your catalytic converter is bolted on, ask your local mechanic to weld the bolts.
• Ask your mechanic is your catalytic converter can be welded to the car’s frame.
• Install catalytic converter theft protection devices (CatLoc, CatClamp, Cat Shield, etc.).
• Consider engraving your vehicle identification number (VIN) on the catalytic converter.

Although the Toyota Prius is the most targeted vehicle, thieves often target taller vehicles too, such as SUVs or pickup trucks, because they can easily fit under the vehicle to access the catalytic converter.

Lake Forest Park Police Department has been conducting extra patrol, especially during evenings and nights, but we need your help. The opportunity catalytic converter thieves often strike locally and repeatedly in their crime spree, so we need our citizens to contact us if they notice suspicious activity in their neighborhoods.

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