GARDAÍ are warning car owners to be wary after three catalytic converters were stolen from cars in Cork city last weekend.
Last Saturday night and in the early hours of Sunday, three cars were hit on Dublin Street, Dyke Parade and Great William O’Brien Street.
Gardaí said that in one case, the car owner witnessed a suspect jack their car to steal the converter. No arrests have been made and the investigation is ongoing.
Crime Prevention Officer for Cork city Sergeant Brian McSweeney said: “If possible, park your car in a locked garage. If this is not an option, then park it in a well-lit and well-populated area. Avoid parking your car half on the pavement and half on the roadway as this makes it easier for thieves to access the catalytic converter.
“Park in a secure place under observation or in sight of CCTV if you can.
"Consider security lights in your driveway that are triggered by a motion sensor.”
Catalytic converters in hybrid vehicles are being targeted because there is less corrosion as there is less usage of it to process pollutants. The converters are in the exhaust system, cleaning up exhaust gases before they are emitted from the car.
Thieves are keen to steal them because they contain palladium, rhodium and platinum, which are currently very valuable.
In recent days, Toyota Ireland has issued a warning to motorists regarding the thefts.
The statement said: “We have had reports of a recent spike of this crime over the last number of weeks. In our continuing contact with An Garda Síochána, we are informed such activity is not particular to Toyota vehicles, or indeed to Ireland — it is across borders in Europe and indeed in the USA.”
The company added: “If you wish to have alarm systems/sensors and other security devices/deterrents fitted to your vehicle, please speak to your Toyota Dealer or indeed any vehicle security experts for independent advice.”