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Over the last two nights, thieves have crawled underneath four older model Toyota trucks and SUVs parked in Los Alamos neighborhoods and cut off the vehicles’ catalytic converters.
“The catalytic converters used on Toyota trucks and SUVs in the 1980s and 1990s were made from precious metal,” Capt. Randy Foster said. “It’s an easy part to get at so it’s become a popular item to steal.”
Foster advised residents to keep an eye on their older model Toyota trucks and SUVs and to park them close to their homes or in their garages if possible.
The catalytic converter in the older models is located near the vehicle’s muffler, Foster said, adding that the vehicle will run with a missing converter but it will be very loud.
Police Chief Wayne Torpy said thieves have been targeting the older Toyotas all over the country and that Los Alamos is actually running behind in this trend.
“This really has been a problem around the country, in fact many salvage yards have stopped taking in these vehicles because they attract these particular types of thieves,” Torpy said.
The older catalytic converters contain plenty of platinum and a thief with a socket wrench can remove it in a matter of minutes.
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