By Jennifer McRae

WELD COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4)– Catalytic converter thefts are on the rise in Weld County. The Weld County Sheriff’s Office told CBS4 that since the beginning of the year, 15 converters have been taken from different locations.

(credit: Weld County)

Deputies are also investigating an attempted theft.

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The sheriff’s office recommends parking your vehicle in a garage or using brightly colored high-temperature exhaust spray paint to deter thieves.

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Denver and surrounding metro area communities are also reporting a spike in catalytic converter thefts.

Catalytic converters (credit: CBS)

Catalytic converters help control exhaust emissions in vehicles. You won’t know it’s gone, until you start your car.

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Thieves aren’t looking to sell the actual car part, but they know its earning potential. Precious metals, like platinum, in catalytic converters can be worth over $100 at scrapyards.

Jennifer McRae