Crime stats from the Renton Police Department indicate the prevalence of catalytic converter thefts that have become increasingly common in the region.
With 37 reported catalytic converter thefts during the month of May, the data indicates a 37 percent increase since April. February and March both had over 30 reported thefts respectively.
According to an RPD Facebook post, the most popular areas for this kind of theft seems to be in the South-end of Renton, near and around Valley Medical Center Hospital and hotel parking lots. Following that would be shopping centers, such as The Landing.
The most common vehicles for catalytic converter thieves are reportedly the Toyota Prius, Honda Element and Ford Econoline.
The regional increase in these kinds of thefts are believed to be due to the precious metals found inside of the car part, which can be more valuable than gold at times.
The Renton Police Department recommended that folks park their cars in a garage when possible, request their mechanic engrave their converter with their VIN number in the event officers contact somebody who has numerous catalytic converters in their possession, contact their dealership or mechanic to see if they have a security device that can help protect their converter from being stolen and to park in well-lit areas.