Cedar Rapids police have released more video evidence of thieves ripping off catalytic converters from cars being left parked outdoors.

New video posted today on the CRPD Facebook page shows a criminal in a Coe College parking lot stealing a catalytic converter off a parked vehicle on January 27.

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The crime is a popular one with crooks for several reasons. One reason is that it can be pulled off relatively quickly. Another reason is that the catalytic converter, an undercarriage auto part that is part of the car's exhaust system, contains valuable pieces and materials that can be sold on the black market.

According to Iowa's News Now the CRPD has been seeing more and more of these crimes lately. KRNA's Eric Stone filed a report in early February. Cops say there are several things you can do to protect yourself from becoming another victim.

  • If possible, always park in your garage and keep your garage door closed.
  • If you don't have a garage, try to park in a well-lit area where you can keep your vehicle within eyesight.
  • Also report (and if possible) video record any suspicious activity happening around your car.

Another thing you should always do is always lock your car doors, especially when you're in for the night. Crooks who are savvy enough to remove car parts, you can believe they are bold enough to check your door locks. Thieves will almost always rummage through an unlocked vehicle to check for any valuables. So lock it, and pocket the key.

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