SILVER LAKE — The LAPD Northeast Division reports a spike in catalytic converter thefts, with the devices removed from nine Toyota Priuses in the Silver Lake area.
The Silver Lake crimes were among the 37 car break-ins and thefts that were reported across the division between Oct. 11 to Oct. 17. “The majority of those involved the taking of the catalytic converter,” according to a posting on the Northeast Division Facebook page.
One Silver Lake Prius owner named Chris said the converter on his eight-year-old vehicle was stolen during the past weekend while parked on the street near Effie Street and Westerly Terrace.
“I discovered the converter had been stolen Sunday afternoon when I went to start up the car,” Chris said in an email today. “The repairs are covered by insurance, but I have to pay out a $500 deductible. It has taken a few days — I still don’t have my car back — because the insurance adjuster needed to come and inspect the damage.”
Catalytic converters contain platinum and other precious metals, making them an attractive target for thieves. Earlier this year, the converter thieves appeared to have targeted Honda Elements, which sit high, making it easier to get underneath and saw off the converter, police have said.
Some vehicle owners have turned to installing converter protectors – or “cat clamps” – that act like a metal cage around the catalytic converters to discourage thieves. But some owners have been told that thieves just cut right through the clamps with bolt cutters.
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