Six catalytic converters were stolen out of Toyotas in three different Santa Cruz locations earlier this week, according to the Santa Cruz Police Department.
They are estimated to have been stolen between midnight and 8 a.m. of July 23, although two of them could have been stolen on July 24.
The thefts happened on the 100 block of Shelter Lagoon, the 1100 block of Laurel, and the 400 block of Tree Frog Ln. The vehicles ripped off were: three Toyota Tacomas, two Toyota 4Runners, and one Toyota t100.
There are no suspects or getaway vehicle descriptions, according to Zach Friend of the Santa Cruz Police Department.
This string of catalytic converter thefts is reminiscent of thefts earlier this year, where as many as between November and January in Santa Cruz. In February, in Watsonville, while stealing their fourth catalytic converter of the night.
"Converters are anywhere from $160 for an old style up to $1500 for some newer ones. But they are worth quite a bit as scrap recycling as well," said Forrest Nimmo, a member of the Facebook group "Toyotaholics."
Necessary for emissions control, catalytic converters contain trace amounts of platinum, a precious metal more valuable than gold.
"Older Toyota 4Runners are prime targets due to amount of precious metals (scrap metal value) in the converter and because of the ground clearance making it an easy "under & out" job," said Zach Eldreth of Newark, a Toyota mechanic as a hobby, and member of the Facebook Group. "Toyotaholics."
If a thief knows what they are doing, they can take a catalytic converter in 30 seconds, said Eldreth, who says that a 1998 6 cylinder 4Runner OEM catalytic converter goes for about $1351.59, not including labor.