There’s been an increase in theft of catalytic converters in Mesa over the past three months, Mesa police reported Wednesday.
Between Oct. 22 and Jan. 12, the Mesa Police Department investigated 27 cases involving the theft of catalytic converters. The majority are taking place in public parking lots, mostly shopping centers.
Suspects are targeting pick-up trucks and sport utility vehicles, police said. There is no information on suspects.
The catalytic converter is part of the vehicle exhaust system used to reduce vehicle emissions. Police say it takes less than two minutes for a thief to remove the converter from the vehicle and it can cost more than $1,000 to replace it.
Drivers should park in areas that are well lit and easily seen and use garages or back up to a garage, making it more difficult for someone to crawl under the back of a vehicle.
Vehicle owners also may wish to consider having their VIN numbers etched onto the catalytic converter itself. Finally, mechanics are able to install theft-prevention apparatus known as a "cage."
To report suspected thefts or other crimes, call the Mesa Police Department at (480) 644-2211 or Silent Witness at (480) 948-6377.