Portland police are investigating a series of thefts across the city in which catalytic converters are being removed from vehicles and likely sold for cash. A variety of vehicles have been targeted, including smaller sedans, buses and box trucks parked overnight.

During the last week in April and the first week in May there at least four thefts – one on St. John Street, two on Warren Avenue and one on Brighton Avenue, David Singer, the department’s media and community liaison, said May 7.

Police advised vehicle owners to park in well-lit areas and make sure their security alarms work.

“The International Association of Auto Theft Investigators also advises vehicle owners to consider extra deterrents, such as engraving VIN or license information into the converter; using automotive exhaust spray paint to mark with identifiable information,” the Portland department said in a statement.

If anyone sees suspicious activity, such as people attempting to access the underside of a vehicle, call police at 874-8575. Anonymous tips can be left using the department’s crime tip line and mobile phone users can text PPDME and their message to 847411.