By M. Wheel-Zot M.A.S.

As you wake up in the morning only affirming good thoughts for the day one can’t imagine that; what waits for you is a violation of your property.  A tornado of disheveled books, pencils, the car registration, a tincture bottle, face masks, an old starburst candy, and business cards that were tucked away in the glove compartment. For many of us, our car serves as an office on wheels.  Yet, it’s shocking as you unlock your car door to see that someone’s been inside fumbling through your personal items.

This morning I had discovered that my car was ran sacked with five dollars’ worth of change missing and two-dollar bills as well.  Everything in my car was topsy turvy from my stamped mail that I planned on taking to the post office, and a wedding invitation that had greasy fingerprints all over it.  It’s an awful feeling to see your personal things thrown around and a sense of not feeling safe took over me.

The Riverside Police Department had warned me that car thefts have been on the rise in many of our neighborhoods in the Coachella Valley, however the Deputy who took my report had told me that there had been- not only a theft problem from personal items inside the cars, yet throughout the Riverside County, Catalytic Converters were being sawed off cars in particular Toyotas and Hondas’.


You might ask why are Catalytic Converters being stolen?  The converters are being stolen for the precious metals; a criminal can sell a catalytic converter to metal recyclers for approximately $200 dollars.  Further, the recyclers then remove the metals, and then sell it- at a profit of $5000 dollars per ounce!  The Deputy had stated that catalytic theft crimes have been on the rise abruptly creating an increased cost in metal and forcing a consumer to repair their cars at an estimated cost of $1000 dollars and up- depending on the car.

Ideally it is best to park your car inside your garage and if you don’t have a garage make sure all your doors are locked and your windows are all the way up.  Furthermore, the car experts from Toyota and Honda have noticed (due to car repairs) that Prius being the most violated car, second are Tacoma’s, third are Lexus SUVs, and fourth are Honda Accords- these top four cars are big game for criminals, the sought-after metals in the convertors, and especially Priuses.

Prius stands number one on a thieves preferred list because they are abundant out on the road.  The land of the Good and Plenty have Priuses in local parking lots and neighborhoods. This has enabled a thief with exceptional experience; within dissembling the exhaust system which allows them to take off the catalytic converter easily and quickly.

Toyotas in general are highly desired car parts because of their high-performance converters that sells quickly in a thief’s market.  Also, Toyotas highly efficient gasoline converters and electric cars contain more precious metals which means more cash for the criminals.  These high-quality metals last longer and are a high endurance metal that is greatly wanted in the black market.  Nonetheless, one must be cautious today when parking any car, yet those with the Prius, Tacoma’s, SUVS, and Accords can now be on high alert.

Note: Car violations have been a problem nationwide during covid lock down and post covid; this article is a precautionary story for people to be more mindful about their cars.