Brazen thieves are targeting jeeps parked at family homes in south Co Leitrim in the latest car parts scam sweeping the north west.
Carrick-on-Shannon gardai are investigating the theft of catalytic converters from two jeeps parked at a home in the Cloone area last week.
Criminals are mainly targeting vehicles with a high ground clearance such as jeeps or MPVs.
The extra clearance means that thieves can quickly climb under the vehicle without having to utilise a jack, cutting the pipes and removing the exhaust parts in a matter of minutes.
The parts are then sold for scrap value or sold on to unsuspecting members of the public via online classified sites.
Just a few months ago thieves broke into a number of commercial garages in the Longford/Leitrim area, stealing catalytic converters and batteries. The fact that private homes are now being targeted is a particularly worrying development, say gardai.
They are urging people to remain vigilant and report any suspicious activity near homes immediately to (071) 9620021.
Jeep owners are also encouraged to engrave catalytic convertors with their registration number to make it easier to trace in the event of a theft and ensure vehicles are kept in either a secure garage or a yard with security lighting.