SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - The Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department is warning the public about a recent rash of catalytic converter thefts.
A catalytic converter is part of the exhaust system and contains expensive metals like platinum, palladium and rhodium.
The thieves resell the catalytic converters to recycling plants for hundreds of dollars.
The Sheriff's Department said the recent crimes happened between 2 a.m. and 7 a.m. starting on Sunday, Aug. 28 in Goleta, Isla Vista and the unincorporated areas of Santa Barbara County.
Deputies received 10 reports of stolen catalytic converters in one week.
The Sheriff's Department released the following tips to help prevent a catalytic converter theft:
-Always park in well-lit areas.
-At shopping centers and other similar parking lots, park close to the entrance of the building or where there is traffic.
-Engrave your license plate number on the converter to make it traceable.
-Buy a vehicle security system and make sure it's set to trigger with even the slightest motion
-Visit a local muffler shop and have the converter secured to the vehicle's frame.