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Burlingame Police Department
Wednesday July 11th, 2012 :: 12:38 a.m. PDT


Theft Of Catalytic Converters

Catalytic Converter thefts are on the rise in Burlingame and in surrounding cities. In the last two weeks, there have been 3 incidents wherein catalytic converters have been removed late at night/early morning hours from parked vehicles. The unknown suspects in these cases have been brazen and operate very quickly to remove this expensive car part. The suspect crawl under the vehicle with a hand saw and cut the catalytic converter from the undercarriage. To repair the damage done to a vehicle after a catalytic converter theft can be time consuming and costly.

Since every vehicle has some type of converter on it, EVERY vehicle could be targeted. At this time the two most common vehicles attracting converter thieves are Toyota trucks and Toyota 4-Runners. These vehicles seem to be the easiest to get under and remove the converter due to the configuration of the underside of the vehicle.

Why are people stealing catalytic converters? Converters use the metals Platinum and Palladium as the catalyst. Both of these metals are extremely expensive and provide for high reward versus the risk in
committing the theft.

Crime Prevention Steps You Can Take:

Secure your vehicle - Park your vehicle in the garage especially if you own a Toyota pickup or SUV

Locking devices - Some automotive shops have special locking systems they can put around the catalytic converter to make it extremely difficult to take. One method is to weld rebar around the
catalytic converter to lock it into place. There is also a anti theft device. called a Cat Clamp that you can purchase and have installed in the vehicle which also locks the catalytic converter into place using steel cables.

Observe and report - Watch out for your neighbors, report suspicious vehicles or people. If you see anyone under a car that appears suspicious in nature, notify the Burlingame Police Department

Park in well lit areas - If you cannot park in the garage, please make sure you park in a well lit area or use motion sensor lights.

Spread the word - Talk to your neighbors about the up rise in catalytic converter thefts and tell them what they can do to take preventative measures.

Burlingame Police Department
1111 Trousdale Dr
Burlingame, CA 94010

Emergency: 9-1-1
Non-emergencies: 650-777-4100

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