West Seattle Crime Watch: 2 thefts – 1 car, 1 converter

Two more West Seattle Crime Watch reports this afternoon. First, longtime WSB’er JanS reports in the WSB Forums that her car’s been stolen. Details here.

Second, Todd at West Seattle Autoworks (WSB sponsor) shares the latest warning about catalytic-converter theft:

A customer just called [early this afternoon] and informed me that his catalytic converter was stolen off his Toyota 4-Runner.

There was a rash of this a couple of years ago, and it may be starting again. The thieves use battery-operated saws and just cut the pipes, preferring Toyota 4WD vehicles because of ground clearance (no jacking needed) and a large market for the item.

A catalytic-converter theft was part of this WS Crime Watch report eight days ago

16 Replies to "West Seattle Crime Watch: 2 thefts - 1 car, 1 converter"

  • kdr December 20, 2010 (6:07 pm)

    2WD Toyota trucks are vulnerable too. There is enough clearance for easy access. My catalytic converter was stolen near White Center during the wave a couple of years back. Four bolts and a couple of minutes and it was gone.

  • HelperMonkey December 20, 2010 (6:11 pm)

    the question is – who is buying these obviously stolen converters? if the jerks buying them stopped buying obviously stolen merchandise this would not be an issue.

  • CMeagh December 20, 2010 (6:49 pm)

    Helpermonkey – I was thinking the same thing. The people who are buying these must know they are stolen if the same people keep coming in with them.

  • CMeagh December 20, 2010 (6:55 pm)

    I read that some muffler shops will add a few weld spots to make it more difficult to remove converter. I am going to check with a family member who owns a welding shop to get their advice on it.

  • Garden_nymph December 20, 2010 (8:05 pm)

    CMeagh, please share the answer you get. Is the welding shop local?

  • Jim December 20, 2010 (8:34 pm)

    There is a solution to this growing crime trend. If you own a 1986-2011 Toyota truck or SUV you may want to consider protecting your catalytic converter/s with a CatClamp catalytic converter lock. The CatClamp is proven protection for less than your deductible installed.Platinum is worth more than gold and the thieves know this. The solution is prevention, please check out CatClamp.

  • toddinwestwood December 20, 2010 (8:38 pm)

    Just like the metal recyclers who have customers show up with a truck load of bronze WW II veteran’s headstone plaques and claim they just “found them”.

    I call BS. on all of them. Just like pawn shops.

  • bs December 20, 2010 (9:03 pm)

    The reason Converters are being stolen is because they contain precious metals, including platinum, palladium, and rhodium. Platinum is at over $1700 per oz right now.

  • Baba December 20, 2010 (9:18 pm)


  • CMeagh December 20, 2010 (10:10 pm)

    toddinwestwood – I couldn’t say it any better.
    Garden_nymph- I am going to check with an uncle who ihas been welding for a long time and is very knowledgeable. If it is something he advises, or if he has some advice, then I will pass it on.

  • chuck December 21, 2010 (1:11 am)

    I just went out and checked underneath my 2008 Toyota Tacoma. The catalytic converter is welded into the exhaust system. I do not see how it could be unbolted, but it would be easy for someone with a sawzall to remove it very quickly.

  • toddinwestwood December 21, 2010 (5:22 am)

    unfortunately, Dewalt makes an 18 volt cordless bandsaw and sawsall, that thieves have been using to get these. They have been using said tools to break into the back storage lot of the company I work for down in Georgetown to get the stainless steel remnants and chips that are left over from the machining. They have sawed off the hinges to a locked gate, sawed the lock and even sawed thru heavy chain link fence.
    unfortunately, we see a rise in this, and car prowlings every years right before Xmas. Hey, the thieves need presents for family too.

    I am always amazed at the effort people expend in not actually having to work. I think it would be easier to get up everyday and go to work than climbing under trucks with a saw stealing exhaust parts.

  • Eddie December 21, 2010 (6:19 am)

    Chuck – yes, with a saw, as was mentioned in the original post. Adding additional welding isn’t going to save your converter from a determined saw-wielding theif.

  • jayb December 21, 2010 (4:58 pm)

    Cat theft is just as big as copper theft. I’ve seen accounts where people would steal from the recycler and sell them back to the same recycler. { most cought on camera and busted }. This dishearts me and disgust me. if one of you waste of space are reading this blog { I’m sure there some } I see ya under a vehicle, it won’t be worth the 50 to a 100 dollars. Times are tough but you might be taking somthing from someone that might be just as unfurtunate. Thanks all for listening to my rant. :-)

  • Matthew December 21, 2010 (6:21 pm)

    mine stolen off a 4runner on 12/10 Delridge and SW Brandon area
    360.00 p/l to replace at Delridge Auto repair

  • Lex January 4, 2011 (10:47 am)

    I was a victim a few months ago. we have a 1999 Toyota 4 runner. Filed the police report etc. We live near the college. They came in the middle of the night used a saw of some sort. I thought I heard a bang but didn’t think they would be so bold it was parked like 15 feet from my front door. Had I gotten up and looked outside might have seen him. However you don’t notice it is missing until you drive some miles your car then sounds like a tank. From what I understand they do have the name of a known suspect. the car did sound funky when i started it but its an old card so…I drove to work via the WFW parked at work then when i started the car to go home it sounded like a tank. took it to By’s on Delridge and he did a great job of fixing it fast. We discovered what happened when my neighbor and husband looked under the truck and saw the part missing. I have to say I was so pissed off. you work hard for the things that you have an some nuckle head comes and take it away in just a flash. good thing came out of it though. got the husband to clean our the garage so we can now park the car in there:-)

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