Pittsburgh Police are again warning residents and visitors about the rising number of catalytic converter thefts from vehicles, a phenomenon that is occurring around the country.
In 2021, there were 79 catalytic converters reported stolen from vehicles in the City of Pittsburgh. So far in 2022, as many as 65 catalytic converters have been reported stolen, many of them from box trucks and a large number from Toyota Prius vehicles.
Catalytic converters can be relatively easy to steal, especially from underneath higher vehicles or trucks where thieves can cut them out quickly before being noticed. They contain three precious metals - platinum, palladium, and rhodium - the latter of which is considered the most valuable. The metals are recovered and sold on the underground market.
Police are warning vehicle owners to be observant, as these thefts are being reported in every police zone in the city, with the majority of them taking place some time between midnight and 5 a.m.
The public should be aware of any any vans or trucks they don't normally see in their neighborhoods, as thieves often work in tandem. They also encourage neighbors to share information and, where possible, train any home security cameras toward parked vehicles.
Police are investigating multiple cases, pending arrest. In the meantime, any suspicious activity should be reported to 9-1-1 immediately.