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Salisbury Police: Toyota Prius is most popular target for catalytic converter thieves

SALISBURY — Police say the Toyota Prius is the most popular make and model of car among catalytic converter thieves in 2021.

Catalytic converters are an emission control device for cars. They’re also a frequent target for thieves because they’re easily cut off and contain valuable metals. Since January, there have been 45 reported catalytic converter thefts in Salisbury. Toyota Priuses top all vehicles for most catalytic converter thefts, Salisbury Police said.

SUVs of all types are second for catalytic converter thefts. In order, police said thefts have most frequently involved trucks, vans (mostly Hondas), other cars (mostly Hondas), two U-Haul trucks and one box-style truck.

Salisbury Police say thieves can take a catalytic converter in five minutes or less.

Usually, thieves crawl under vehicles with a higher clearance or bring a rapid pump car jack to raise vehicles. Typically, thieves use a reciprocating saw and cut off the catalytic converter in less than 30 seconds.

“We are asking that the community be more alert and suspicious if they see anything that is described above and call 911,” Salisbury Police said in a message posted online Wednesday.

Police offered these ways to prevent thefts of catalytic converters. They include:

• Install an anti-theft device on the catalytic converter.

• Paint your catalytic converter a different color or add etched numbers to identify it’s yours.

• Install an alarm or camera to catch thieves.

• Check your car insurance to make sure it includes full coverage in case of thefts.

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