Catalytic converter thefts are on the rise. Officials in Ventura, Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo Counties are saying they have seen dozens of catalytic converter thefts in recent months. Just last week several Toyotas parked in the Samarkand area of Santa Barbara, had their catalytic converters stolen. The recent increase in thefts comes after police arrested several suspects earlier this month. Authorities say it is easy for thieves to steal this major component of the automobiles exhaust system, especially in trucks that sit high off the ground. The catalytic converters are stolen because they contain small amounts of precious metals that are melted down and sold by thieves. Police say the best way to prevent this type of theft is to park your vehicle in a well-lit area or a garage. Police advise anyone sees suspicious activity to immediately contact the Santa Barbara Police Department by calling 911.
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