That's what's happening to some unwitting BART riders at some East Bay stations.
Imagine exiting your @SFBART train to find the catalytic converter has been cut out of your car—with a saw—while it was parked at a station lot? Or all four wheels have been stolen? We’ll hear from a victim...and #BART on @abc7newsbayarea at 4 and 5. #abc7now #buildabetterbayarea pic.twitter.com/bRLf3s5ZVC— Laura Anthony (@LauraAnthony7) March 21, 2019
"My car was parked right in the vicinity in this row," said Mary Kuhn as she pointed to a spot near the front of the Lafayette BART station.
Kuhn took a short trip from the Lafayette to Oakland last Saturday and was gone for just a couple of hours.
When she returned, she started her older model Honda Accord and knew right away, something was wrong.
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"And immediately, check engine comes on," said Kuhn, "but even worse the sound...whir, whir...I had no idea what was happening."
#HAPPENINGNOW This @SFBART rider left her Honda at Lafayette #BART station Sat. afternoon, came back two hours later and thieves had sawed her catalytic converter right out from under her car. She’s not alone. 205 were stolen from BART lots in 2018, about 95% from Honda Accords. pic.twitter.com/vU7SY5C0mI— Laura Anthony (@LauraAnthony7) March 21, 2019
The service director at Walnut Creek Honda told us he sees it often - cars left at BART parking lots, ravaged by thieves.
"We go out once a month," said David Trzesniewski, "maybe more to the various BART parking lots to retrieve cars where all four tires and rims have been stolen. We do a lot of catalytic converter repairs."
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"All you do is jack it up... and they're gone in just a couple of minutes. Kind of like the Nascar pit crew," explained Trzesniewski.
As brazen the thefts are, BART police say overall car burglaries have actually dropped 33 percent from this time last year.
Still, 205 catalytic converters were stolen from cars in BART lots in 2018 and 49 so far this year.
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"They're pretty efficient," said BART Deputy Chief Ed Alvarez. "They're good at what they do. That's their craft. They're out there for a reason. If you don't see them in the minute or two they are under that car, your chances of catching them are diminished."
That's little consolation to Kuhn, who told us she won't put her car in that position, ever again.
"I would never park my car here again," said Kuhn, especially not a Honda."
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