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City Manager's Office
City Manager's Office
Press Contact: Byron White, Berkeley Police Department, (510) 981-5780

RECENT CATALYTIC CONVERTER THEFTS

Berkeley, California (Wednesday, July 31, 2019) - The Berkeley Police Department has noticed an increase in the theft of catalytic converters.  Since July 20th, there have been at least 14 vehicles that have had their catalytic converter stolen throughout the City—mostly occurring during the early morning hours of darkness.  In the majority of those cases, thieves have targeted a Toyota Prius.

It appears that criminals are taking advantage of the lighter weight of the Prius that makes it easier to lift with a vehicle floor jack.  From there, criminals will typically use a small portable reciprocating saw to quickly cut off the catalytic converter.  In a recent online article (see below link), you can see just how quickly these thefts can occur.

https://www.thedrive.com/news/27575/watch-these-thieves-steal-a-catalytic-converter-from-a-toyota-prius-in-broad-daylight

In light of this recent trend, the Berkeley Police Department would like to encourage the community to consider the following:

  • If available, consider parking in your home’s garage.
  • If parking in your driveway, consider using/adding a motion-sensing light to illuminate your driveway.
  • If you are parking on the street, consider parking in a well-lit area.
  • If you see something suspicious (like a person working on the underside of a car in the middle of night along with the sound of a power saw), please report it immediately.

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