The theft of catalytic converters has been on the rise throughout the State of New Jersey over the past four months.
Seven catalytic converters have been reported stolen in South Brunswick during that time period, according to information provided by the South Brunswick Police Department on March 2. The most recent report was received on Feb. 23.
Catalytic converters are targeted because they contain valuable metals such as platinum, according to the statement.
Actors will typically use a battery-operated Sawzall, crawl underneath the vehicle, make two quick cuts and remove the catalytic converter. The theft can be accomplished in as little as 3 minutes. The stolen items are then taken to scrap yards and sold. Most of the thefts occur during the early morning hours, according to the statement.
Early to mid-2000s Hondas as well as Toyotas, specifically the Prius, have been targeted, according to the statement. Ford Econoline vans have also been the target of some recent thefts in northern New Jersey.
The department offered some tips for preventing catalytic converter thefts:
- Report any unusual or suspicious activity you observe, especially during overnight hours.
- Park in well-lit areas.
- Park close to building entrances or the nearest road in public parking lots. This leaves your car in a location where many people can see it.
- Add video surveillance to the area where you regularly park your car.
- Adjust the security system on your car, if already installed, to activate from vibrations, such as those produced by a saw.
Contact the South Brunswick Police Department at 732-329-4646 if any suspicious activities are observed.