It is a big problem and it's only getting bigger.

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It's not showing signs of slowing down in the near future.

Of course, I have a friend who had his car stolen at night from outside his house in Tuscaloosa. That's pretty bad.

Brazen and bold thieves and they just keep getting bolder and MORE brazen.

However, having your car stolen is the extreme worst case scenario at night in West Alabama. This is a different problem.

THIS IS A WARNING FOR ALL VEHICLE OWNERS IN WEST ALABAMA

Crime Stoppers of West Alabama is looking for anyone with info that can help solve these recent crimes.

*Video from Crime Stoppers of Metro Alabama/YouTube

Let's start with one truth we can all agree on, more than likely.

Finding a decent parking spot in downtown Tuscaloosa is always a challenge, but there's something else you need to know if you plan to leave your car overnight.

Any vehicle left in the dark is a prime target for thieves.

We all know it's important to lock our car doors, as anything left in an unlocked vehicle could be stolen. This is especially true for firearms; however, even locked cars aren't safe in Tuscaloosa.

Why?

Thieves are now taking the catalytic converters from vehicles left in the dark. Your car's catalytic converter is part of your vehicle's exhaust emissions system, and the precious metals inside a single catalytic converter can fetch as much as much as $250 for thieves.

If your catalytic converter is stolen, your repair bill could be as much as $3,000--so you need to pay attention.

 

Catalytic converter theft is on the rise, in a major way, here in Tuscaloosa.

Here's a post from the Alabama Student Ticket Exchange group on Facebook that detailed a student's experience in downtown Tuscaloosa.

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Note that the poster mentioned that the University of Alabama Police Department said catalytic converter theft is becoming more common this summer.

Thieves also stooped so low as to steal catalytic converters from Tuscaloosa's Habitat for Humanity in the past.

What can you to to keep your car safe?

Ensure that you park your vehicle in a well-lit area. Thieves prefer to work in the dark, so parking next to a bright streetlight seems to be an effective deterrent.

Motortrend also suggests purchasing a catalytic converter shield or having your license plate number etched onto your catalytic converter as a way to track your converter should it be stolen.

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