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Santa Barbara - South County

Ventura County Sheriff’s Office warns about catalytic converter thefts

catalytic converter 1
Ventura County Sheriff's Office

VENTURA, Calif. -- Ventura County Sheriff's Office is reminding residents to take precautions against catalytic converter thefts in the county on Tuesday.

The Sheriff's Office says there has been a rise of catalytic converter thefts statewide.

A catalytic converter is a device used to reduce toxicity of emissions from an internal combustion engine. It is required by law on every motor vehicle operated in the United States since 1975.

Catalytic converters contain expensive precious metals like platinum, palladium and rhodium. These recyclable materials can be easily “scrapped” for a quick profit.

They urge the public to be aware and take simple precautions into preventing this from happening to them.

The following are some ways to prevent the theft of your catalytic converters:

  • Park in a secured garage when possible or in a well-lit area with surveillance cameras and/or where the vehicle will be seen by passersby.
  • Install motion-sensitive lighting to illuminate driveways used for parking.
  • Consider adding security cameras to oversee driveway and on-street parking areas.
  • Engrave the VIN number onto catalytic converter.  This will make it easier to track if stolen.
  • Research catalytic converter anti-theft devices and weigh the pros of having one installed.

The Sheriff's Office says thieves usually target trucks or SUVs because of the higher ground allows easier access underneath the vehicle.

They say sports cars and sedans may also be targeted.

The most common cars targeted are 1999-2003 Ford F/E series 250 and 350 vehicles, Toyota Prius, Honda Element, Honda Accord and older model Jeep Cherokee SUV’s.

To help deter this and other crimes, you can report suspicious activity by calling the Ventura County Sheriff's non-emergency number at 805-654-9511. 

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Julia Nguyen

Julia Nguyen is an assignment editor and social media coordinator for NewsChannel 3-12. To learn more about Julia, click here.

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