RESEDA ( — Police say thieves in the West Valley have a new target – your car’s catalytic converter.

There has been an uptick in catalytic converter thefts in the West Valley, Los Angeles police said Friday, with the most common targets being 1998-2004 Honda Accords and Acura TL vehicles.

A vehicle’s catalytic converter is generally placed in front of a vehicle’s muffler and converts toxic pollutants in exhaust gas to less toxic pollutants, police said. Catalytic converters are valuable because they are made with three types of metal – platinum palladium and rhodium.

Police say catalytic converters sell for between $40 and $200 each, but can cost as much as $1,000 to replace.

Residents were advised to follow these tips to protect their cars:

  • Be on the lookout for strangers working on cars in the area.
  • Garage your vehicle, out of plain view, whenever possible.
  • If a car has to be parked outdoors, park it in a well-lit, secure area. Look for an outdoor security camera and park in its view if possible.
  • Consider adding an audible alarm or tracking device to the car.
  • If the catalytic converter is “bolt on,” the bolts can be welded shut from an auto mechanic.
  • Etching a converter with a serial number will help police track the converter in the event it is stolen.
  • If you see anyone with a catalytic converter, try to get the license plate information or snap a photo of the individual.

Anyone with information about these crimes can contact the LAPD West Valley station at (818) 374-7611.

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