Austin residents don't necessarily have to lock their car doors at night, but it would probably be a good idea for them to put padlocks on their catalytic converters.
Police say thefts of catalytic converters have gotten out of control in Austin, with the number of reported incidents rising from 27 in 2019 to 584 in 2020. And this year's on track to being even worse, they say. The reason thieves have been targeting the car parts is they contain palladium and rhodium -- both precious metals -- that can be sold for a decent chunk of change, police say.
The most common vehicles targeted in the thefts are the Toyota Prius, Honda Element, Ford Econoline, Chevrolet Express and Toyota Tundra, police say. They're advising residents to park in well-lit places and engrave their vehicle's VIN on its catalytic converter.
Even if you legally obtained a bunch of palladium and rhodium, would you have any idea where to sell them? Has your vehicle ever been broken into?
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