Three Prius catalytic converters stolen in Longmeadow

Crime

LONGMEADOW, Mass. (WWLP) – The Longmeadow police are investigating after three catalytic converters were stolen off the same model cars early Tuesday morning.

According to a post on Facebook from the Longmeadow Police Department, catalytic converters were stolen from three different Toyota Prius vehicles between the hours of 12:30 a.m. and 3:30 a.m. on Tuesday. The cars were parked in driveways on Longmeadow Street, Ferncroft Street and Whitmun Road.

Longmeadow Police Captain Carl Mazzaferro told 22News steps you can take to prevent theft, “You can lock your vehicle in a garage, have your vehicle in a well lit area. Security cameras are always very helpful.”

Captain Mazzaferro said you can also scratch your VIN number on your converter or paint it so salvage yards can find you. Ultimately, police say the best thing everyone can do is if you see something, say something.

If you have any information or surveillance video from the areas of the theft, you are asked to contact police at 413-567-3311.

Why are catalytic converters being stolen?

(WTWO/WAWV) – Catalytic converters have long been a target for thieves, but a number of communities across the country have seen an uptick in thefts recently.

What is a catalytic converter?

A catalytic converter is an emissions control device that’s in the exhaust system, found underneath a vehicle.

The device makes it so that carbon monoxide is not coming out of a vehicle’s tailpipe and being spread into the environment.

Why do people want to steal them?

Inside a catalytic converter are three valuable metals, platinum, rhodium and palladium, according to Steve Finzel, owner of Finzel’s Mastertech.

How are they taken and how do you know if it’s happened to you?

Catalytic converters can be cut out from underneath a vehicle. Finzel said some thieves have gotten so good at removing them, that it can be done within minutes.

“We’ve had customers that have gone out from being in a store, start the car up, don’t know what has happened,” he said.

If a person starts the car and it is extremely loud, it is likely that the cat converter was stolen.

Can this problem be fixed?

Catalytic converters can be repaired or replaced, but it can be an expensive fix. Finzel said it can range from hundreds to thousands of dollars, depending on the assembly type.

Does insurance cover this?

According to J.D. Pizzola with State Farm Insurance, comprehensive insurance for your vehicle can help with necessary repairs.

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