Car owners in Cork are being warned to be extra vigilant when parking their vehicles with the theft of catalytic converters on the rise.
Sergeant John Kelly of Fermoy Garda Station said converter theft is a crime that “seems to be back, and back in a big way.”
He warned people, particularly drivers of older models of Toyota Yaris’, to make sure their cars are parked safely.
Catalytic converters are exhaust emission control devices and they are valuable to criminals due to the “precious metals” inside them.
Sgt Kelly told C103'sthat there was an attempt to steal a converter in Naad on July 27 and a blue Skoda had been seen acting suspiciously.
He said that there were five other separate incidents in Youghal, Milford, Churchtown near Mallow, Effin south near Charleville and Ballyclogh which all occurred last month.
“In all cases, it was an old model Toyota Yaris that was targeted," Sgt Kelly said.
“When you consider that the replacement of a catalytic converter could be maybe €650 or €700, that could be more than the price of what the car is worth.
"Particularly when you consider if your car is a 99 or a 00 or a 02. It seems to be the older model of Toyota Yaris”
Sgt Kelly said that it is “quite likely” that the criminals have “a bit of homework” done in advance.
He said that they may know the locations of the cars and “do two or three in the same general area”.
Sgt Kelly urged people who have an older style Toyota Yaris to be vigilant.
He advised people to reverse their cars into the driveway, right up to the door.
“As well, if you have a couple of friends in the area, just tip them off that your car might be a target for those people.”