The Turlock Police Department has issued a warning to the owners of catalytic converters that there has been a surge in thefts of the equipment from the back of trucks.
Police spokesperson Officer Mayra Lewis said the majority of the thefts are occurring during the night from vehicles parked on the street and driveways.
The catalytic converters are being sold to junk yards or recycling centers, Lewis said.
"We would like citizens of this community to be on guard," Lewis said. "If possible park your vehicles in a garage. If a garage is not accessible, park your vehicle in a well-lighted area."
The police department advises to take the following steps if a suspicious person is noticed in a neighborhood:
• Do not approach the subject(s).
• From a safe distance, pay close attention to what the subject(s) is doing/carrying.
• Get a good description of the subject(s), especially race, gender and clothing description.
• Call the dispatch center and report the suspicious activity at 668-1200.
• Victims of a theft can make a report by calling 668-1200.
• If you are witnessing a crime in progress call 9-1-1.