LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Thieves in Louisville are targeting a specific part of your car, and it could cost you hundreds of dollars.

Douglas Barnes, General Manager of Hi-Way Muffler in Shively, said he's seen an increase in catalytic converter thefts over the past couple weeks. The repair cost can range anywhere from $250 to $1,500. 

Criminals slide underneath the vehicle and cut the converter off with a power saw. Barnes said the recent theft seems to be mostly concentrated on Honda Element SUVs.

"The five Elements that I did, it all came from up around the Bardstown Road area, maybe from Baxter down to Taylorsville Road and Frankfort Avenue," Barnes said.

SUVs and trucks are at the greatest risk, because it's easier to get underneath them.

Sara Rounsavall’s catalytic converter was stolen from her Honda Element in Crescent Hill.        

“We had plans on New Year’s Eve, and so I went out to my car and started my car, and it immediately made kind of a loud banging sound,” Rounsavall said.

Hi-Way Muffler made the repairs to her vehicle.

“I looked underneath, and I could see a big gap in what connects what was coming out of my motor to the muffler,” Rounsavall said.

Thieves are not after the part but the precious metals inside. They often wrap part of their saw with a towel, making it even harder to hear.

Barnes said there's not much you can do other than keep a close eye on your vehicle or park in a garage.

Copyright 2018 WDRB Media. All rights reserved.