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Pleasanton: Police investigate 10 catalytic converter thefts on same day

Calls in two clusters of city on June 27
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Ten catalytic converter thefts were reported on the same day to Pleasanton police last month, representing half of all calls to the department about the oft-stolen car part for the entire month of June.

"We suspect they may all be related, however we could only connect five of the cases based on the limited description of two male suspects driving a black SUV. The investigation is still ongoing," Sgt. Marty Billdt told Livermore Vine.

"The rough timeframe is from 0215 to 0400 hours when witnesses/victims heard grinding noises and saw the black SUV driving off," the sergeant added.

The incidents were reported to police between 3:38 a.m. and 1:08 p.m. June 27 in generally two areas of the city, according to the department's online police blotter.

It's not uncommon for the theft to be noticed hours afterward, especially when overnight or when a vehicle has been parked for an extended period.

Half occurred roughly between Sunol Boulevard, downtown and Bernal Avenue -- the Junipero Street and Sonoma Drive intersection, Bonita Avenue, Salvador Court, Tamur Court and Hanover Court.

The other half were not far apart on Stoneridge Drive, Stoneridge Mall Road, Owens Drive and Hopyard Road.

Catalytic converters are a popular target for thieves because of their relative accessibility at the bottom of vehicles and the high recycling sale value of their parts. The thefts can be expensive for victims, to replace the costly converter and repair damage to their vehicle.

The crime is a focus of Pleasanton Police Department community outreach, according to Billdt.

"In the material, we highlight preventative measures like parking vehicles in garages when possible with the garage door closed. If that's not possible, park in areas visible to people, near windows, security cameras, or under lights when dark," he said.

"We also recommend etching converters with the vehicle's VIN number, a driver's license or other means that makes it easier to trace the converter back to the owner if it is recovered," he added. "There are also protective sleeves for converters available, often referred to as 'cat strap' or 'car clamps', that surround converters making it more difficult for thieves to cut through."

For more information on preventative measures, contact the PPD crime prevention officer at 925-931-5245.