Crime Alert – Increase in Catalytic Converter Thefts

Over the past 48 hours, Newark Police have received 6 reports of thefts of catalytic converters from vehicles.  Five of the thefts occurred during the overnight hours, while one theft occurred during daytime hours.  Notably, five of the involved vehicles were Toyota Priuses.

The following is a breakdown of the recent cases:

Location Timeframe Vehicle Type
300-block Hillside Road Overnight Toyota Prius
Wharton Drive – (3) reports Overnight Toyota Prius
Christina Mill Drive Overnight Toyota Prius
Park & Ride (E. Chestnut Hill Rd.) Daytime Ford Escape

The Newark Police Department needs the public’s assistance to stop these crimes.  Please call Newark Police immediately if you see suspicious activity related to thefts of catalytic converters.  This activity may include:

  • A vehicle pulled up close to another vehicle
  • A vehicle on jacks or blocks in a parking space
  • A person laying under a vehicle or a vehicle otherwise being worked on in a parking lot

Likely targets of catalytic converter thefts include vehicles that sit higher off the ground like an SUV.  The Toyota Prius and Honda Element are also targets due to the amount of precious metals in the catalytic converter.

Some tips to avoid being the victim of a catalytic converter theft include:

  1. Engrave your vehicle’s license plate number or VIN onto your catalytic converter.  This could help deter its sale to a scrap dealer and allow for identification of the owner.
  2. Park in well-lit areas
  3. Park in a garage if available
  4. Install an anti-theft device
  5. Install motion-sensitive lights and cameras in your parking area
  6. Paint your catalytic converter to deter buyers

Additional information about catalytic converter thefts can be found here: carfax.com, kbb.com

Simulation on South College Avenue

The Newark Police Department will be conducting a simulation this evening in the area of the old Newark Train Station in the 400-block of South College Avenue.  There is no cause for alarm.