LINDEN — City police are warning drivers that there is an increase in thefts of catalytic converters from parked vehicles. The devices, which can cost up to $1,000 to replace, are typically located on the undercarriage of vehicles and convert toxic exhaust products into less toxic substances.
According to police, thieves are targeting the devices because they contain small amounts of platinum, which is selling for around $1,500 per ounce. They are using small, battery-powered saws that can cut off a converter in a matter of minutes and choosing mainly larger vehicles, such as SUVs, because the catalytic converters are larger and easier to access, police said. Scrap yards will pay up to $100 per cut off device, according to police.
Police said that there were daylight thefts of catalytic converters from a vehicle parked at Linden Train Station on June 7 and a vehicle parked at a private company on the 1900 block of Lower Road on June 6. Sixteen converters were stolen from trucks parked at the Linden U-Haul on East Edgar Road on May 20, and two were taken from vehicles parked at at Linden High School and McManus Middle School on May 13 and April 30, respectively.
According to police, there is not much that car owners can do to prevent their vehicles from being targeted, but they recommend parking in a lot with video surveillance cameras that may act as a deterrent when possible.
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