standing Hopkinton Police

HOPKINTON — Police are urging residents to remain alert after receiving two calls in recent weeks reporting that catalytic converters had been removed and stolen from cars parked for the winter.

Hopkinton Police Capt. Mark Carrier said the department is urging residents to remain on high alert following the two thefts, which were reported in the past month. The police said in both cases the cars that were targeted were parked for the winter and had not been used in several months. Both were also visible from the road, the police said.

“It is a challenging investigation because we don’t have a time frame. The thefts could have happened at any point over a two-to-three-month period,” Carrier said. “Until they attempted to start the cars recently, there was no visible damage or indication that anything was wrong."

Across the country, there has been a rise in catalytic converter thefts as metal prices have climbed and the catalytic converters can be resold for $150 each or more. Carrier said the department has seen trends like this before, with other car parts like stereo systems and airbags catching the attention of thieves due to resale prices.

In order to avoid becoming a victim, residents are advised to park in well-lit areas or consider installing or using motion-detection lights and flood lights. If residents have access to a garage or closed canopy that can be locked, those measures can prevent access. Residents are also encouraged to use video surveillance, including motion-detection and night-vision equipment.

Carrier said residents should also consider starting their car once per week or more, even if not in use, to help identify quickly if any issues occur.

To report a theft or any suspicious activity, contact the Hopkinton Police Department at 401-377-7750.

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