Car owners beware: San Luis Obispo police say catalytic converter thieves are targeting vehicles throughout the city.
Police have received seven reports of catalytic converter thefts during the past three days, according to a San Luis Obispo Police Department news release.
Catalytic converters are exhaust emission control devices that convert toxic gases and pollutants into less harmful byproducts. The device is located in a vehicle's undercarriage and can easily be unbolted or cut off with a saw or acetylene torch.
Converters cost anywhere from several hundred dollars to more than $1,000, depending on the vehicle. Thieves can typically sell the converters to metal recyclers for up to $150, according to the release.
Recently, converters have primarily been stolen from Honda and Toyota vehicles during overnight hours.
To prevent theft, police suggest using aftermarket converters that contain fewer precious metals, installing theft deterrent devices or welding the bolt attaching the converter to the muffler.