On Sunday, September 5th, Ventura police conducted a traffic stop in the Ventura area. After confronting the driver of the vehicle, police determined that there were three Los Angeles men inside, and proceeded to conduct a search. During the search, police discovered several catalytic converters that they believed to be stolen, as well as the tools that were allegedly used during the crimes. Narcotics were discovered in addition to the catalytic converters.
All three men were subsequently arrested. Currently, members of the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department are working with the Ventura Police Department to contact the victims and return the stolen parts.
Theft of catalytic converters has been an ongoing issue for residents and law enforcement in Los Angeles County and the surrounding areas. A catalytic converter is a part of a vehicle’s exhaust emission system. The parts convert toxic emissions from vehicles into less toxic emissions using a chemical reaction.
The parts are highly valued by thieves because they contain small amounts of precious metals that can be sold for a significant amount of money.
Often, catalytic converter thieves target pickup trucks and other similar vehicles because they’re higher off the ground and it’s easier to get underneath them to remove the parts.
While there’s no way to be 100% safe from catalytic converter thieves, there are a few steps you can take to keep your property protected. For one, avoid parking in areas with low visibility whenever possible. Try to park in areas of parking lots or city streets that have ample lighting. If possible, park your vehicle in your garage instead of on the street. This isn’t always realistic for everyone, but it’s the best way to ensure you’re not victimized by catalytic converter thieves.
Another thing you can do is have your car’s VIN number etched onto the catalytic converter by a mechanic. That way, if someone steals it and the police recover it, it can be returned to you.