The Frederick Police Department is ramping up its efforts to curb a recent spike in catalytic converter thefts.
The police department has responded to nine catalytic converter thefts since the start of the year, according to an FPD statement. There was a rash of similar thefts reported between October and December, as well. Catalytic converters contain precious metals that can make them attractive to thieves.
Four of the recent catalytic converter thefts occurred in apartment complexes, two were taken from outside of residences, two were stolen from commercial areas and one from a hotel, police said. A map created by police showed the thefts occurred along the Golden Mile and various spots along the U.S. 15 corridor. Toyota Prius and Honda Accord vehicles were the two most popular targets.
Patrol squads will increase their checks of parking lots and other high-parking areas overnight. If your vehicle is making an unusually loud noise, police recommend checking to see if the catalytic converter is missing.
Tips can be called in to FPD at 301-600-2102. Those who wish to remain anonymous can leave a voicemail at 301-600-TIPS (8477), text 240-674-TIPS (8477) or email email@example.com.
Police offered advice on how to protect your vehicle:
- When possible, park in well-lit areas and close to building entrances.
- If you have a garage at your house, park your car inside and keep the garage door shut.
- Have the catalytic converter welded to your car's frame, which may make it harder to steal.
- Consider engraving your vehicle identification number (VIN) on the catalytic converter — this may help alert a scrap dealer that it was stolen and make it easier to identify the owner.
- Calibrate your vehicle's alarm to set off when it detects vibration.