PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Catalytic converter thefts continue to be an issue at the Portland International Airport.

According to the Port of Portland, airport authorities reported seven catalytic converter thefts from January through March of 2021, compared to 38 during those same months in 2022, just over five times higher than the 2021 period.

Airport officials were quick to say travel is also up, significantly, in 2022 compared to last year. Total cars parked in the lots this year so far is 279,395. Through the first three months of 2021, 163,795 cars had parked. That’s an increase of roughly 70%.

However, when you factor in the increase in cars parked in 2022, catalytic converter thefts still more than tripled.

To combat catalytic converter thefts, the Port of Portland tells KOIN 6 News it increased private security patrol, Port of Portland Police patrols and undercover patrols.

The port also closed the east exit of the employee lot to prevent pedestrian access along with adding signs to report suspicious activity. People will also see increased lot lighting, added the agency.

“As is the case across the city, catalytic converter thefts continue to be an issue at PDX,” said a spokesperson for the Port of Portland. “While the number of thefts-per-vehicle parked at PDX is very low, we understand when this happens, it’s very frustrating to those who experience it.  With these security measures in place, we continue to address the issue.”

The agency encourages all travelers and employees to report suspicious activity to airport authorities.