UW-Whitewater police have warned the campus of a string of thefts of catalytic converters from parked vehicles, according to a campus crime alert sent Wednesday.

The main targets have been Toyotas, specifically Prius models, but the crime alert says owners of all vehicles should be aware.

Police have increased patrols in parking lots, according to the alert, which also includes a link for those interested in buying an alarm device designed to protect against such converter thefts.

Catalytic converters get stolen because they “contain precious metals, including platinum and rhodium,” the alert states.

A sign that the converter has been stolen is that the vehicle sounds different upon the ignition starting.

Those who suspect their vehicle’s converter has been tampered with should not move the vehicle and instead should contact police by calling 911 or the UW-Whitewater department at 262-472-4660 or emailing police@uww.edu.

Callers with information about the thefts can remain anonymous, according to the alert.