Prius owners beware: They're coming for your power. According to in San Francisco, police there say the newest thing in car theft is the batteries of Toyota Prii and other hybrid cars. Thieves are busting the back window and stealing the batteries, in a smash-and-grab that leaves the something less than a hybrid after they're done.
It's a relatively quick way to make the buck, says. Removing them (and doing the job right) takes a pro about an hour, but criminals who cut the cables can get at the 120-pound battery in about 20 minutes. And there's good money to be made:
It's not entirely clear what kickstarted the spate of battery thefts, the demand for the tech might be rising because first-generation Prii, bought around a decade ago, are nearing the end of their battery warranties. Replacements from official sources can cost up to $3,000, while second-hand batteries are a literal steal, reportedly going for under $1,000 on Craigslist.
While San Francisco police are most worried about the problem, it's happening elsewhere, too. In New York, the targets are typically Prius yellow cabs.