West Seattle Crime Watch: Another catalytic-converter theft

Another crime report just in – these types tend to happen in waves, so listen/watch extra-closely for anything suspicious around the cars in your neighborhood, even alarms you might consider ignoring:

Sadly more thefts to report: The catalytic converter was stolen (cut off) from beneath our 15 year old SUV in the Seaview neighborhood overnight. Beware since the thief can get them in just a couple of minutes if they know what they’re doing, and they really like the SUV’s due to their higher clearance.

21 Replies to "West Seattle Crime Watch: Another catalytic-converter theft"

  • Conrad January 3, 2009 (6:32 pm)

    Just read this so thought I would check mine.
    Lo and behold, mine was missing. Cleanly cut from right in front of my house on 31st SW. I am livid. We saw suspicious activity a couple of nights ago where a guy drove up Barton with lights off, crossed the street and approached my vehicle and then turned around when he saw my friend on the porch. He then went back and drove off with lights off. This has happened to 2 other people I know recently. Surely something can/must be done to make this activity not profitable for these dirty thieves. Keep your eyes open.

  • Bonnie January 3, 2009 (7:45 pm)

    Really stupid question. Why do people steal catalytic converters?

  • WSB January 3, 2009 (7:50 pm)

    some good info in an earlier comment thread:

  • SB January 3, 2009 (7:53 pm)

    Where in Seaview was the crime?

  • mellaw6565 January 3, 2009 (8:04 pm)

    This sucks – I don’t know how you could really protect yourself from this type of crime. It’s not like alarms would work.

  • screwed if I do? or if i don't? January 3, 2009 (8:18 pm)

    Well now. I’ve got a ’93 4Runner. Here’s the question I pose to myself: Do I continue to park in front of the house on a heavily traveled main arterial where it is massively well-lit by streetlamps and 15 feet away from the main bedroom is OR park off a dark unlit alley in the gated driveway with no security lock in the backyard where there is no security light. At all. And sound doesn’t travel to bedroom.

  • Conrad January 3, 2009 (10:24 pm)

    Mine is a ’95 4Runner. I’ve had 2 other friends have this happen to them in recent months. One had his brazenly stolen mid-day from the Northgate parking lot. They definitely seem to target Toyotas. The gentleman I spoke to when filing the police report said mine was the second one today. I think they spend several days casing their targets and then go after them all at once. There is clearly some planning/organization going on here. For the last poster, I’d leave it in the well-lit area. At least you’ll have a chance of hearing it or having someone else notice the suspicious activity.

  • mike January 3, 2009 (11:02 pm)

    Bonnie asked “Why do people steal catalytic converters?”.

    The metals inside catalytic converters are worth a lot when you try to get cash for recycling them. Catalytic converters use very rare metals.

    Toyota 4×4’s are easy targets as they have the cat in the center of the vehicle without any obstructions and there’s about 2′ of clearance allowing somebody to use a cutting device to hack off the pipes and walk off with the catalytic converter.

    I have a ’91 Toyota 4×4 and everytime I go to drive it I take a look to verify my catalytic converter is still on there.

    Metal recyclers need to do more to prevent these thief’s from getting money for catalytic converters.

    If some thief tries to steal the one on my pickup, I hope I just got done driving and it burns the crap out of the thief putting them in the hospital with 3rd degree burns.

  • Brandon January 4, 2009 (8:50 am)

    The value of scrap metal has fallen off a cliff recently. This means it would either deter them because of diminished return, or just increase the volume to make up the difference. Looks like crank up the volume.

  • Mike January 4, 2009 (1:11 pm)

    Catalytic convertes are not “scrap” metal. They contain platinum, palladium and rhodium as well as more common metals.

  • Brandon January 4, 2009 (1:20 pm)

    OK Mike, my mistaken simplicity. It is the “scrap metal thieves” making it a “scrap” metal target. Better?

  • bb January 4, 2009 (4:00 pm)

    Unfortunately we also discovered the catalytic converter on our truck was missing this morning. We live in the Seaview neighborhood.

  • SB January 4, 2009 (7:30 pm)

    Where in Seaview are these happening?

  • Conrad January 7, 2009 (4:23 pm)

    I just had a great repair experience at The Muffler Shoppe in White Center (10009 16th Ave. SW – 206.762.1939). I stopped in on my way back from getting my other Toyota serviced in Burien. Told him my converter got jacked, he asked me the year and then said “169.95 installed” and to bring it in and it would take half an hour. Needless to say, I high-tailed it back home and drove the 4Runner up there, cowering a bit behind the wheel because I was so freakin’ loud. He informed me that they had used a chain cutter to get mine out. Luckily they cut it in front after the oxygen sensor. How thoughtful of them. He welded an aftermarket converter in place as well as a replacement length of pipe to the muffler. The thieves also cut the hangers for the cat and the one for my muffler in the back was going so he replaced those. I got out of there for around $220 including tax, and got some very interesting conversation to boot. Honest guy doing honest and quick work. Check him out.

  • Elaine Lyon January 8, 2009 (10:34 am)

    Well neighbors, our catalytic converter was stolen either Tuesday or Wednesday night. (1/6 or 1/7) 1992 Toyota 4Runner. 50th Ave SW between SW Alaska & SW Oregon. Street parked in front of our house. I guess we are lucky because they unbolted ours.

  • Steve January 8, 2009 (11:02 am)

    I found out this morning my 1991 4Runner was also hit several blocks west of the Alaska junction. I’m not sure when it happened as I’ve been driving my other car for about a week. It was parked right in front of my house.
    I guess I’m ‘lucky’ as they just unbolted it instead of cutting it off.

  • Brian January 12, 2009 (8:38 pm)

    Same Area- 5oth ave between SW Alaska and Edmunds, 1994 toyota pickup sometime last week (1/6-1/12). This is crazy. Lock up your toyota’s. They cut mine out.

  • Beth January 14, 2009 (9:14 am)

    My cat was stolen a couple months ago. So I did some reserch online and found the Catclamp. Its a lock for the catalytic converter. I bought one and have not worried about my cat since. The wedsite is Catclamp.com.

  • Courtney January 29, 2009 (1:51 am)

    Thought I posted an update that my 95 4Runner’s “cat” was stolen earlier this month too, but I don’t see my post on this string, so I will add it. I reported it, and hope everyone else is too. It happened near the golf course by Genesee and Avalon. Such an annoyance…watch out neighbors…!

  • Bettytheyeti February 2, 2009 (2:07 pm)

    We were home. Our 94 Toyoto 4 Runner cat was stolen yesterday or this morning. We are in Seaview and the truck was parked in front of our home on 48th Avenue Sw. Clearly this is a racket?

  • Bettytheyeti February 2, 2009 (4:42 pm)

    Just filed police report with Operator 57. He encourages anyone who has had their cat-converter stolen to PLEASE file a police report. If just one were stolen and reported no action is required on their part. If a half dozen just in Seaview are reported, then a detective would be put on the case. And thank you Conrad for information on the Muffler Shop. As promised Brian replaced my converter in half an hour. He says has replaced easily a dozen in the last weeks. About the cat-clamp. These theives are not interested in the after market converters, because they don’t have the metals in them.

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