How to protect your car from catalytic converter thefts

Catalytic Converter Stolen

As thieves nationwide escalate efforts to steal catalytic converters, there are things you can do to protect your vehicle.

States report triple and quadruple percentage increases in thefts in recent years.

It can cost more than $1,000 to replace them and thieves can cause damage to other parts of your car in the process.

Toyota Prius owners, in particular, are being targeted because they’re lighter and easier for thieves to lift.

The Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner has some advice on what to watch out for.

You’ll know if your catalytic converter is missing if you hear a loud roaring or rumbling sound that gets louder as you press the gas.

If that happens, check the underside of the car from the back bumper; you’ll see open ends of the exhaust pipe that aren’t connected to anything.

Law enforcement and insurance experts suggest parking in your garage when you can. If you can’t, install motion-sensing lights in your driveway to deter thieves. Whenever possible, park in well-lit areas.

Pemco Insurance also suggests asking your mechanic about installing a catalytic converter protective shield.

RELATED: ‘We have a perfect storm of crises’: Washington lawmakers want to crack down on catalytic converter thefts