TEWKSBURY – The Tewksbury Police Department recently shared information from the Lexington Police Department with the community. Residents and business owners have been victims of catalytic converter theft.
Ford F-series and E-series trucks appear to be a popular target, according to police. The Toyota Prius is another vehicle that experiences a high number of thefts. Please report any suspicious activity you see to Tewksbury Police Service.
Tips for thwarting thieves include parking in well-lit areas, parking near building entrances or the nearest road in public car parks, closing garage doors, and installing surveillance cameras if possible. Additional measures include etching the VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) on the catalytic converter and activating any security or alarms on the vehicle.
Coins are sold for scrap because the converters have a high content of precious metals. A catalytic converter has a ceramic element coated with various precious metals such as platinum, rhodium and palladium. Lawmakers around the country are currently considering bills to prevent scrap metal dealers from buying catalytic converters without confirming ownership and prevent cash payments for parts.
Authorities from Seattle to Boston have been battling this problem for years, with an uptick in recent months.
According to the Associated Press, the National Insurance Crime Bureau said the number of catalytic converter thefts reported in insurance company claims rose from 3,389 in 2019 to 14,433 in 2020. The problem is also occurring in Europe. .
Parts are stolen using a saw from under the vehicle, which authorities say can be done quickly and quite discreetly. In North Carolina, a church van was taken out of service after its catalytic converter was stolen. Replacement can cost upwards of $1,000 and is an inconvenience to the vehicle owner.
Businesses have also been victims of this crime, including delivery vehicles and customer cars in nationwide repair lots.
If you have been a victim or noticed suspicious activity, contact the Tewksbury Police Department at 978-640-4385.