SIOUX FALLS, S.D (KELO) — Be careful where you park your car – catalytic converter thefts continue to be a problem in Sioux Falls.

Sioux Falls police are investigating two catalytic converter thefts at the Sioux Falls Regional Airport parking lot.

“Areas where we see more thefts are places where you’re going to have a vehicle that’s parked, maybe for an extended amount of time,” Sam Clemens, Public Information Officer, said.

Executive Director of the Sioux Falls Regional Airport, Dan Letellier, says the airport is implementing more security measures like increased patrols at night and installing more security cameras to prevent incidences like this from happening.

These thefts are just two of the 20 reports so far this year in Sioux Falls. Last year, the city received 60 reports of catalytic converter thefts. There were around 170 reports in 2021.

“We’re starting to see an uptick in the number of catalytic converters that are stolen. These thefts or the vandalisms usually happen when it’s warmer out,” Clemens said.

Experts say the best thing you can do to prevent theft is to park in a locked garage or a well-lit area because you never know when the thieves are going to hit.

“There’s not a whole lot that you can do to safeguard against that. That’s probably one of the issues that we have of trying to figure out where it’s happening because it could literally be anywhere,” Clemens said.

A catalytic converter filters out the harmful byproducts in your car’s exhaust. People steal them because they also contain some valuable metals.