(KRON) — Thefts of catalytic converters have been on the rise since 2018, but how can you keep yours from being stolen? Fairfield Police Department shared some key tips for keeping your vehicle from becoming a target.

Earlier this month KRON4 reported that in 2018 there were 1,298 reported catalytic converter thefts nationwide, according to data collected by the National Insurance Crime Bureau. As of 2020 the number grew to 14,433.

The first thing the FPD recommends is only parking your vehicle in well-lit driveways or highly-visible locations. Police say that many catalytic converter thefts take place when cars are parked on the street.

This is an image of a catalytic converter.
(Photo courtesy of Fairfield Police Department)

One option that FPD suggests is to install motion lights or alarm systems with cameras for added security. FPD says that thieves are looking for easy targets, and your vehicle may not be considered an easy target if it’s easily seen by onlookers or has a visible camera.

FPD also suggests reaching out to a local mechanic to request that they install added security measures. In photos shared by FPD, a mechanic spray paints a catalytic converter to make it more visible (and potentially more difficult to hide). The department also shared another photo of a locking mechanism that was installed around a catalytic converter to protect it from potential thieves.

This is an image of a mechanic working on a catalytic converter.
A mechanic paints a catalytic converter (Photo courtesy of Fairfield Police Department)

FPD says that catalytic converter thieves often work in groups of three: one person acts as a driver, another person jacks up the vehicle, and the third saws off the catalytic converter.