The Toyota Prius hybrid has become popular among car thieves in San Francisco, but they aren’t even taking the entire vehicle. Instead, thieves are finding a way to quickly steal the hybrid’s battery, which has joined the list of high-dollar items that thieves steal to resell.
In the past, thieves targeted catalytic converters and airbags, but now the money is with hybrid car batteries, which are quite expensive to replace if you’re the owner. According to one victim, John Nashed, there has been a rash of Prius battery thefts with his Allstate insurance adjuster confirming that they are working on three other cases with the same issue.
Removing a Toyota Prius battery isn’t an easy job and is actually quite dangerous if you’re not a professional, considering the battery’s 200 volts could cause serious injuries. Batteries are showing up on Craigslist for around $900 to $1,000 said Nashed, whose repairs will cost an estimated $10,000. One Toyota dealership in San Francisco confirmed the rise in theft, saying they’ve replaced “quite a few” stolen batteries. The Japanese automaker is looking for a better way to protect the batteries from thieves.
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