MILFORD, CT — Milford police warned residents to be extra vigilant after a rash of motor vehicle thefts, including catalytic converter thefts.

The thefts are occurring in shopping centers, gas stations and commercial areas around the city, police said.

Police urge residents to lock their vehicles while pumping gas, have keys in hand when returning to a vehicle, and be generally aware of surroundings. Vehicles shouldn't be left running while unattended.

Catalytic converter thefts spiked nationally in 2020 and have remained a prime target of thieves. There were about 1,3000 catalytic convert thefts reported in 2018, 3,400 in 2019 and 14,400 in 2020, according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau.

The price of expensive metals used in catalytic converters increased in 2020, which helped fuel the rise in thefts. Article