LOVE COUNTY, Okla. (KTEN) — Love County deputies have put a big dent in the stolen catalytic converter trade.

The pollution control devices contain valuable precious metals, making them a desirable target for thieves.

The Love County Sheriff's Office saw an increase in catalytic converter thefts over the last few months, but now five individuals — identified as Charles Ward, Kirsten Landeros, Alexander Barfield, Jessica Smith and Quinton Johnson — have been arrested in connection with the crimes.

Investigators said wrecking yards and towing companies have been hit the hardest by catalytic converter thefts.

"Though these thefts only net criminals a couple hundred dollars, the cost to replace these converters and damages incurred are typically upward of a couple thousand dollars," Sheriff Andy Cumberledge said in a statement posted to Facebook.

The sheriff's office recommends that business owners install video cameras to help deter potential thieves.

Several additional converter thefts remain under active investigation in Love County.