The Melrose Police Department is investigating the theft of catalytic converters from vehicles in the city, and offering residents tips to help prevent such thefts.

On Thursday, May 12, at approximately 1 a.m., Melrose Police responded to a report of a catalytic converter theft in the area of Cottage Street.

An investigation determined that two individuals, potentially assisted by a third, cut the catalytic converter off of a Honda CRV in the area of Cottage Street, and also cut through part of another catalytic converter on another vehicle — a Ford Escape — before being scared off by residents.

A resident of the area reported to police that they heard a sawing noise at about 1 a.m., and saw two people under a vehicle outside. These individuals were observed fleeing the area in a dark-colored SUV that picked them up and drove off toward West Foster Street.

An investigation is ongoing, and members of the public who believe they have information on this incident are asked to call Melrose Police at 781-665-1212.

The thefts come as police departments across the state have seen increasing numbers of these thefts, in part because catalytic converters contain small amounts of precious metals such as platinum that have increased in value.

In response to the increase in such thefts, Melrose Police would like to provide the following tips:

  • 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, 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 as you can, including the time when the theft most likely occurred.

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