ROANOKE, Va. (AP) — Police are seeing an increase in thefts of catalytic converters from vehicles across the nation and in parts of Virginia.

Roanoke County police officer Greg Benton told The Roanoke Times that he didn’t think catalytic converter thefts have “ever been this prolific.”

Catalytic converters filter pollutants from car exhaust. They’re made with valuable precious metals and sit on the underside of a vehicle. They can be removed in a matter of minutes with a machine-powered saw.

In July, insurance provider State Farm said it saw a three-fold jump in the number of catalytic converter claims filed over the past year. The National Insurance Crime Bureau said the average monthly thefts across the nation had soared to 1,200 in 2020.