Overnight Tuesday, September 6 into Wednesday, September 7, 2022, there were five reported thefts of catalytic converters from vehicles parked on Constantine Place, Glenside Avenue and Walnut Street in Summit. Catalytic converters were reported stolen from a 2002 Honda Accord and 2004 Honda CR-V parked on Constantine Place, a 2009 Honda CR-V and 2008 Honda CR-V parked on Glenside Avenue, and a 2008 Toyota Tundra parked on Walnut Street.

“Since 2019, there has been a staggering 1000% increase in thefts of catalytic converters nationwide,” explains Summit Police Chief Steven Zagorski. “Summit was untouched by this trend but that changed for us and several neighboring municipalities last night. Patrols have been reconfigured to focus on areas of the city identified as the most vulnerable.”

Chief Zagorski continues: “Unlike most vehicle thefts that can be prevented by locking doors and removing key fobs, thefts of catalytic converters are more challenging for owners to prevent against. Converters on most cars are located underneath a vehicle near the exhaust system and easily accessible to thieves who crawl under the vehicle and quickly cut out the unit to turn a quick profit from the valuable material.”

To help prevent thefts, the Summit Police Department recommends that vehicle owners park in well-lit areas or in a garage if possible. Licensed automotive mechanics can also assist citizens with installing devices to secure catalytic converters or etching VIN numbers on catalytic converters for tracking and to lead police to thieves.

According to Car and Driver magazine, the 10 cars most prone to catalytic converter theft are:
• 1985 to 2021 Ford F-Series
• 2011 to 2017 Chrysler 200
• 1999 to 2021 Chevrolet Silverado
• 2001 to 2021 Toyota Prius
• 1987 to 2019 Toyota Camry
• 1997 to 2020 Honda CR-V
• 1990 to 2022 Ford Econoline
• 1989 to 2020 Honda Accord
• 2007 to 2017 Jeep Patriot
• 2005 to 2021 Chevy Equinox

The Summit Police Department asks anyone with information pertinent to the investigation, including surveillance footage of suspicious individuals in areas where thefts occurred, to contact the Detective Bureau at (908) 273-0051.

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