It's no secret crime has been on the rise in the Twin Cities, specifically in Minneapolis and St. Paul. The St. Paul Police Department recently issued a crime alert for the rising number of catalytic converter thefts in the area.
Modern cars are fitted with catalytic converters to reduce harmful emissions of hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide, and nitrogen oxides into the atmosphere. The part contains precious metals that act as catalysts and convert the harmful gasses into water vapor and less harmful emissions.
They are a prized item for thieves because catalytic converters contain precious metals that are traded in for money. Criminals often crawl underneath cars and saw off the part, leaving the vehicle's owner with huge repair bills.
But there are steps you can take to try and prevent your car from being targeted:
-If possible, park in a locked garage or in a well-lit, densely populated area
-If you don't have access to a garage, park close to fences, walls, or a curb with the exhaust being closest to the barrier - this will make the theft more difficult
-Avoid parking your car on the curb as it gives thieves easy access to the underbelly of your car
-if your catalytic converter is bolted on, ask your local garage to weld the bolts to make it more difficult to remove
-Consider a "cage clamp" which locks around the converter
-Speak to your car dealership about a tilt sensor that activates the alarm if someone tries to jack up your vehicle
-If you see someone acting suspiciously under a vehicle, call police immediately