File Photo | Credit: Zion Police Department.

Police are warning vehicle owners of a recent rash in catalytic converter thefts in the Lake County and Kenosha County area.

The Zion Police Department issued a warning on social media Monday afternoon to vehicle owners in northeast Illinois and southeast Wisconsin.

The Zion Police Department has taken six reports of this type of theft in the past week. Officials warned that other communities like Gurnee, Waukegan, unincorporated Lake County, and Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin are also experiencing these thefts.

They tend to occur in the overnight hours into the morning from around midnight until 9 a.m., police said. A catalytic converter converts harmful pollutants into less harmful emissions before it leaves the car’s exhaust.

“Offenders are believed to be working in pairs. One remains in a vehicle looking out for the police or vehicle owners while the other crawls under the vehicle and cuts the catalytic converter from the vehicle using a sawzall or other cutting tool,” Zion police said.

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The theft, which can take just minutes, is very costly to vehicle owners. Police urge anyone who see suspicious activity to call 911.