Cars targeted by thieves for catalytic converters

By Maurice Garvey

DRIVERS of older model Toyota Prius cars are being targeted for the precious metals contained in their catalytic converters.

Tallaght Superintendent Ian Lackey warned drivers of Prius cars – especially 2004 to 2007 models – to be aware of a recent surge of thefts in the local policing district.

Toyota Prius 2007 compressor

Older models of Toyota Prius cars similar to this car have been targeted

The catalytic converter is the exhaust emission control device which is attached to the exhaust on the underbody of a vehicle.

It takes minutes to jack up the car and cut off the catalytic converter.

Thieves cut off part of the exhaust system to cash in on the value of precious metals contained in them, including palladium and platinum.

Speaking at the policing meeting at South Dublin County Council last week, Supt Lackey, said: “We know that four were targeted the other night – they are all 07 and older models.

“The precious metals are not in newer models. The costs of repairing the damage is often more than the value of the car.”

Supt Lackey said gardai had made arrests last year in the October to November period and suspects have been through the courts in relation to the thefts.

Gardai made public appeals last year, including on RTÉ’s Crimecall, suggesting owners consider purchasing a catalytic converter lock or clamp which will help prevent its theft and deter any potential criminals.

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