WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: Another catalytic-converter theft, and an attempt

12:05 PM: Lisa emailed to alert West Seattle neighbors that catalytic-converter theft is still a problem – sometime last night, someone stole the catalytic converter from her Honda Element. This happened near the intersection of 35th and Andover. The thefts have been going on for a long time; this Crime Watch report from last fall included some advice on protecting your vehicle.

1:16 PM: Amy mentioned this in a comment and then emailed:

I caught 3 men trying to steal mine off my Honda Element this morning around 4:30 am in the Sylvan Heights neighborhood. Here is a picture of the suspects’ vehicle, no plates.

The driver did threaten me as they drove off …

SIDE NOTE: As JT points out in a comment below, the New York Times reports today that catalytic-converter theft is a nationwide problem.

15 Replies to "WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: Another catalytic-converter theft, and an attempt"

  • AMY February 9, 2021 (12:17 pm)

    OMG, I caught 3 men in the act of stealing mine off my Element this morning at 4:30a. Sylvan Heights Dr. I have a picture of their vehicle I can email the blog. 

    • KWest February 9, 2021 (2:03 pm)

      Good for you taking their picture, but I am so sorry the driver threatened you. That is terrible. Did you make a 911 call? These thefts make me so angry. 

      • AMY February 9, 2021 (2:55 pm)

        I did not call 911, but I did file a police report. 

  • JT February 9, 2021 (1:33 pm)

    Helpful story in today’s NY Times about these types of thefts and why they are happening.https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/09/climate/catalytic-converter-theft.html?action=click&module=Well&pgtype=Homepage§ion=Climate%20and%20Environment

  • Matt February 9, 2021 (1:38 pm)

    Two within 30min from the same vehicle in the same area.  No doubt the picture that Amy took were the same people that stole from Lisa.  

  • Alt February 9, 2021 (2:00 pm)

    The only way this will stop is to stop making it so easy for the thieves to recycle them.  There should be a waiting period for the cash disbursement, like they do with a large amount of copper wiring.  This will continue to happen as long as its easy money.

    • LB February 9, 2021 (2:44 pm)

      In addition, as recommended by Jennifer Danner of SPD in an alert last September, (posted in WSB here https://westseattleblog.com/2020/09/west-seattle-crime-watch-police-school-2-car-break-ins-2-more-found-bicycles-more/) you can also install a shield or lock to protect your catalytic converter from theft.  It sucks that we have to go to the expense of doing this, but it is an option.  One of my family members ordered a shield from Toyota and went to Tom’s Automotive here in WS to have it installed. 

    • John February 9, 2021 (4:47 pm)

      So true. A scrupulous scrap dealer would turn their records on catalytic converters received over to the police.
      Where else would these converters come from if they weren’t stolen?

      • flimflam February 9, 2021 (5:29 pm)

        Seriously. Good point…

      • Charles Krefting February 11, 2021 (8:20 am)

        I have removed four bad catalytic over the years from various cars I have owned and sold them for scrap.  Each time I brought the cats to the same metal recycler and it was a real eye opener.  Individuals, many of whom didn’t look like upstanding citizens,  were walking up with shopping carts full of stuff looking for cash.  The last time I went there, which was about eight years ago,  I was told I would have to show them my ID, give them my address, and they would mail a check to me, which they did. Presumably this is done to deter thieves looking for quick cash, but I am sure there are a number of sites that don’t follow this process.

  • Alki Heights February 9, 2021 (3:21 pm)

                     My dear neighbors, I know this is a time of crisis, but please remember to turn on your video on your phone to get a better shot of the crook. 

  • Danny February 10, 2021 (2:25 am)

     I live down by the Target on Barton and mine was stolen last week in the middle of the night. They were in such a rush , they did a number on my muffler too. luckily insurance was able to cover it. 2 grand and a week to fix! According to the repair shop, it looks like they’re using a portable electric reciprocating saw. 

  • Lola February 10, 2021 (7:55 am)

    I have heard you can get a lock for your Cataylitic  Converter, they  also say if you can back into a spot where the bldg is to your backside, or park so you are back to back with another car.  It makes it harder to get to your Converter if you  do not leave them room to get it. 

  • 5timeschamps February 11, 2021 (10:59 am)

    How sad that that’s what your life has become. 

  • balderdash February 11, 2021 (1:52 pm)

    You either pay now for a cat shield or pay whopping later to replace the cat.  That is where we now are if you have one of the cars that they want the metal from

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