SPPD | Catalytic Converter Thefts Continue, Police Warn

In warning residents, local police say most the thefts are taking place during the nighttime hours

Catalytic converter thefts, according to the South Pasadena Police Department, continue to be on the rise not only in South Pasadena, but throughout the San Gabriel Valley.

Most of the thefts continue to occur during the nighttime hours.

Since catalytic converters are located underneath the exterior of a vehicle, it makes them difficult to secure.

“The thief simply crawls under your vehicle and with two simple cuts, removes your catalytic converter. The process only takes a few minutes,” explained Crime Prevention Officer Richard Lee.

Lee said catalytic converters are stolen for the three precious metals that are inside of them: platinum, palladium and rhodium. The amount of each precious metal in one catalytic converter is very small. These metals are then sold as scrap metals.

Replacing catalytic converters can easily cost up to one thousand dollars.

SUV type vehicles, noted Lee, are often targeted because of their high ground clearance making it easy for the thief to crawl underneath them. He said thefts from Toyota Prius have also been popular.

Here are some tips from Lee to remember:

  • Be suspicious of anyone walking around and looking under cars.
  • Be suspicious of someone claiming to be working under the car during night-time hours.
  • At night, park in well-lit areas.