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Cambridge Police Warn Residents About Latest Rash of Catalytic Converter Thefts

caution sign The information on this page may be outdated as it was published 2 years ago.

The Cambridge Police are warning residents in the northern part of the city about a recent increase in catalytic converter thefts that have been occurring in four neighborhoods. Catalytic converters, which are part of a vehicle’s exhaust system, are most sought out by thieves because they contain precious metals and can be sold for scrap. Between December and early January, 19 of the 21 reported thefts have occurred in these four neighborhoods:

  • 10 in North Cambridge
  • 3 each in Peabody, Strawberry Hill and West Cambridge

A majority of the reported catalytic converter thefts have involved 2001-2008 Toyota Prius’. The other vehicles have included older model Honda CR-Vs, Honda Elements, a Hyundai Tucson and a Ford pickup truck.

A series 
of thefts were previously reported by residents primarily in the Cambridgeport neighborhood in mid-January 2021, the Wellington-Harrington and East Cambridge neighborhoods in mid-February 2021, and the Mid-Cambridge neighborhood in August 2021. In those cases, the thefts also involved older model Toyota Prius’. In addition to Cambridge, thefts of catalytic converters are also reportedly rising locally and across the country. In fact, the National Insurance Crime Bureau has recently announced that the number of catalytic converter thefts reported in claims to insurance companies jumped from 3,389 in 2019 to 14,433 in 2020.

Officers have been focusing extra attention on this pattern while patrolling the neighborhoods, particularly during the overnight hours when a majority of the thefts have taken place. The Cambridge
Police also recommend the following tips to prevent catalytic converter theft – especially those with older model Toyota Prius’:

  • Park in well-lit areas.
  • Park close to building entrances or the nearest road in public parking lots. This leaves your vehicle in a location where many people can see it.
  • If you have a personal or shared garage, keep your vehicle parked inside with the door shut.
  • Add video surveillance to the area where you regularly park your vehicle.
  • Install a catalytic converter-specific security device, such as an aluminum plate that, once installed, that can provide a strong barrier against theft.
  • Adjust the security system on your vehicle, if already installed, to activate from vibrations, such as those produced by a saw.
  • Remember to call the police and report where your car was parked when your catalytic converter was stolen. Provide as many identifying details that you can, including the time when the theft most likely occurred.

Anyone with any information related to these thefts is asked to call the Cambridge Police at 617-349-3300. Those who wish to provide information anonymously may dial the Cambridge Police Anonymous Crime Tip Hotline at 617-349-3359 and leave a message.  Anonymous tips may also be sent via the Cambridge Police MyPD mobile app or via text message to 847411. Begin your text with TIP650 and then type your message.  To send tips via email, visit 

Page was posted on 1/6/2022 9:21 AM
Page was last modified on 7/25/2023 1:10 AM
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