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Toyota, Ford cars targeted in series of catalytic converter thefts at Stanford University

Majority of the cases involved Priuses parked in campus street lots, garages

Nearly two-dozen Toyota- and Ford-brand cars parked at Stanford University have been targeted in a string of thefts since mid-September, leaving the vehicles without their catalytic converters, the university's Department of Public Safety said Tuesday.

Stanford deputies have received 15 reports of the thefts from Sept. 14 to 30, taking place at street parking lots to parking garages, according to an alert issued Tuesday night. Each case involved a Toyota Prius with the exception of one where a Toyota Sequoia was burglarized.

The thieves have carried out the thefts at various times, including during daytime hours, the agency said in a statement.

In an update issued Friday night, the agency reported six more catalytic converter thefts — three Toyota Priuses and three Ford Excursions in the past week.

In response to the series of thefts, the public safety department is calling on the campus community to call 911 if they see suspicious behavior or activity in a parking lot or garage, such as people loitering around or looking underneath or into parked cars. The agency also advises the public report cars parked directly behind or near other cars "in a way that could conceal criminal activity."

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