SANTA BARBARA COUNTY, Calif. -- The Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office said there has been a rise in thefts of catalytic converters this past week.
Several of the thefts occurred Monday night or early Tuesday morning, according to the sheriff's office.
The thefts were reported in the following areas; 300-block of Valdez, Armitos at Kellogg, 5200-block of San Simeon, 700-block of Walnut Lane, 6100-block of Stow Canyon, 6200-block of Momouth, 5000-block of Douglas and the 500-block of Amherst.
The vehicles that were targeted were Ford trucks, a Chevrolet truck and a Honda Element.
Similar thefts have also been reported in Ventura and Oxnard.
The theft of catalytic converters is popular because they can be easily removed, they do not have identifying marks like serial numbers, and the components are made up of precious metals that can be resold to recyclers.
The Sheriff's Office said there are steps that can be taken to help prevent these thefts. They include parking inside a garage or secured yard, installing motion detector lights near parking areas, installing a catalytic converter protection device and educating neighbors to be on the look-out for thieves.