By CBSBoston.com Staff

WORCESTER (CBS) — Police say there have been several catalytic converters from Toyota Prius hybrids stolen in Worcester recently. Prius owners are advised to take precautions like parking their car in a garage, in a well-lit area, and in a place with increased surveillance.

Similar thefts were a problem in Cambridge months ago. Officers there explained that catalytic converters, which are part of a vehicle’s exhaust system, are often ripped out of parked cars to be sold on the black market. They contain precious metals, like palladium, which is valued at over $2,000 an ounce.

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Mechanics said it’s an easy job for two people with just a few tools. Once the thieves are able to get underneath the vehicle, all it takes is a few simple cuts that can be done in a matter of minutes.

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Worcester Police said the thefts happened across different neighborhoods and they are investigating.

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Anyone with information is asked to call detectives at 508-799-8651, anonymously text 274637 TIPWPD, or message police online at worcesterma.gov/police.

CBSBoston.com Staff