Sheriff Recovers 250 Stolen Catalytic Converter
March 18, 2021
3/11: The Santa Clarita division of the LA County Sheriff's Department reports that it has recovered 250 stolen catalytic converters, and arrested 19 suspects. The smog mediation devices, which scrub automobile exhaust, are frequently stolen by thieves who sell them to scrap dealers. The converters are said to be worth $250 to $750 each.
The entire lot of 250 catalytic converters is estimated to be worth $750,000 or so. The 19 arrested people men also had $100,000 in cash on them, at the time of their arrest. The LASD also recovered a "ghost gun," which means a weapon with the registration number removed.
The press release from the LASD notes that the "theft of catalytic converters has been a growing trend in 2020, with a 400% increase throughout Los Angeles County, and a significant increase in the Santa Clarita Valley as well."
"Catalytic converters are attached to the exhaust system of a vehicle. They contain precious metals and can be "scrapped" for quick profit. In a proactive approach to lower catalytic converter theft, the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station Crime Impact Team led a search warrant operation on Wednesday, March 10, 2021" in Santa Clarita and other locations.