Police in San Mateo are urging vehicle owners to beware of thieves looking to steal catalytic converters.

On Thursday, police said they’ve been responding to an unusually high number of catalytic converter thefts across the city.

The converters are valuable because they contain several types of recyclable materials that can be easily scrapped for a quick profit, according to police.

Police believe when the price of scrap metal, like platinum, rises the thefts increase.

Thieves usually target trucks or SUVs because the higher ground clearance allow thieves easier access underneath. But, police said, currently they’re seeing thieves targeting Toyotas, particularly Prius models.

In order to avoid being a target, police recommend vehicle owners park their cars in well-lit areas that can easily be seen by passersby.

Owners can also install catalytic converter protection devices that make it more difficult for thieves.

It is also recommended that owners etch vehicle identification numbers onto several different locations on converters, so that police can track converters if stolen.

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