Barrie police are investigating after catalytic converters were stolen from company vehicles at two south-end businesses on the weekend.
Investigators believe the thefts on Commerce Park Drive and King Street happened late Sunday night.
In both cases, police say catalytic converters were removed from vehicles that were parked in unprotected outdoor parking lots.
The investigation is ongoing.
"Police are strongly encouraging business owners who have work related vehicles parked outside to move them, if possible, indoors or to park them in fenced in spaces with surveillance cameras," city police stated in a news release Monday. "Other options include utilizing after-market catalytic converter enclosures or spraying heat-resistant paint onto the catalytic converters to make them less attractive to thieves."
Catalytic converters have been a common target for thieves.
"These emission-control related devices are sought after for the precious metals that they contain, but the inconvenience to the victim far outweighs the replacement costs," police say. "In one case, a business owner who has been a victim of these type of thefts before has indicated that it may force him out of business."
Barrie police urge people to report any suspicious vehicles immediately.
"Together, we can work to combat this type of specialized theft and hopefully, by securing property and storing it elsewhere, put these opportunistic criminals out of business," police say.