SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – A crew of seven men from western Massachusetts stole 471 catalytic converters in just over a year. However, what are the steps you can take to protect yours from being stolen?

For some cars it can take minutes to steal one and that’s why many thieves don’t get caught, but there are still some steps you can take to protect yourself. Michael Lapite with City Tire Springfield told 22News some vehicles are at higher risk for having the part stolen, like pickup trucks that are higher off the ground. Even so, there are anti-theft devices that can help.

“There’s actually protectors that you can put around your catalytic converters that prevent people from stealing them. If you can, just do it. It’s worth it in the long run,” said Lapite.

A few other tips are to write your vehicle identification number or VIN on your catalytic converter. If you can’t park your car in a garage then invest in a security camera and park your car in a well lit area, that can help police if someone does steal it.