Catalytic Converter Thefts Spike in Centralia; City Advises Drivers to Secure Their Vehicles


The City of Centralia is encouraging drivers to park in well-lit or secured locations due to a significant uptick in catalytic converter thefts.

A catalytic converter is located in the exhaust system, between the engine and the muffler, on the vehicle’s underside. A sign that your catalytic converter has been stolen would be a noticeable loud change in the sound of your vehicle’s exhaust.

The Centralia Police Department reports that the most common vehicles recently targeted for catalytic converter thefts are the Toyota Prius, Ford F-series pickups, box trucks and buses, and large vehicles with ease of access to the undercarriage.

One of the best solutions to protect your vehicle’s catalytic converter is parking it in a more secure location such as a garage or fenced-in area.

If the use of a garage or fenced-in area is not an option, here are some other solutions to help mitigate the theft of your vehicle’s catalytic converter:

• Park your vehicle in a well-lit location.

• The Toyota Prius has an aftermarket skid plate system that can be purchased and installed that will make its catalytic converter more difficult to steal.

• The VIN number of the vehicle can be stamped into the catalytic converter, by a muffler expert, for assistance in identifying the vehicle in case of theft.

Individuals stealing catalytic converters will often crawl underneath vehicles, cutting the converter free, using power tools such as a reciprocating saw.

If you observe any suspicious activity, such as individuals prowling around vehicles with power tools, you are encouraged to call 911 to report it.

If you wish to report a catalytic converter theft that is not in progress, please call the Lewis County Communications non-emergency Dispatch at 360-740-1105.