General Crime

* Catalytic Converters Being Stolen and Sold as Scrape in San Carlos

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The San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office is warning residents of San Carlos about several thefts of catalytic converters from parked vehicles. Six catalytic converters have been removed from vehicles in San Carlos over the last three days, according to the sheriff’s office. Catalytic converters, which make up part of a vehicle’s exhaust system, contain salvageable metals and can be sold as scrap for $100 to $150 each.

All of the thefts occurred late at night and in each case, the vehicle was a 1997 to 1999 model Tacoma or 4Runner, which have catalytic converters that are easier to access, authorities said. The thieves apparently crawled under the vehicles and used battery-powered saws to cut the converters free, according to the sheriff’s office.

Investigators recommend that anyone who owns one of the target vehicles avoid parking in the same place for a prolonged period of time. Catalytic converters can be engraved with a vehicle license number to make them traceable, and they can also be secured to the vehicle frame by welding metal pieces to the frame.

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