Cambridge Police Warn Mid-Cambridge Residents About Increase in Catalytic Converter Thefts


8/18/2021

The Cambridge Police are warning Mid-Cambridge residents about a recent increase in catalytic converter thefts in the neighborhood. 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. Since August 10th, 14 of the 17 reported thefts have occurred in the Mid-Cambridge neighborhood. The others have taken place in West Cambridge (2) and The Port (1). There was one attempted theft in Peabody. All of these reported catalytic converter thefts have involved 2002-2009 Toyota Prius’. 

A series of thefts were previously reported by residents primarily in the Cambridgeport neighborhood in mid-January 2021. Another surge of thefts occurred in the Wellington-Harrington and East Cambridge neighborhoods in mid-February 2021. In those cases, the thefts also involved older model Toyota Prius’. In addition to Cambridge, thefts of catalytic converters are also reportedly rising across the country. 

Officers have been focusing extra attention on this pattern while patrolling the neighborhood, particularly during the overnight hours when a majority of the thefts have taken place. The Cambridge Police recommend the following tips to prevent catalytic converter theft:

  • 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 anonymous tips via email, visit 
www.CambridgePolice.org/Tips.  

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Christine Elow
Acting Police Commissioner

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