WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: The case of the Mercedes-driving catalytic-converter thieves

That photo came in from a reader on Wednesday, with this report about what he saw after 7 am that morning:

I was strolling north in the alley between 44th & California, in the block south of Oregon. I heard the unmistakable sound of a reciprocating saw against steel for just a brief moment. I looked in the direction of the sound & spotted a black Mercedes parked very close to a Honda Element. They must have seen me and stopped. In the time it took to pull out my phone and take a photo, the Honda came down off a jack, and something, probably just the jack, was loaded into the back seat area.

Unfortunately, that apparently was the catalytic converter from Gayle‘s car. She later emailed us:

6/23, at approximately 7-7:15, the catalytic converter was stolen from my 2007 Honda Element. My car was parked in a Diamond parking lot close to the sidewalk on 44th Avenue near Oregon Street. I saw a black Mercedes pull in next to mine and later learned they were the thieves. A police report (21-156316) has been filed. … The thieves were driving a black Mercedes 5500 (sedan). The driver was a white male and the passenger is believed to be a white female. If anyone else was walking by or coming through the parking lot and has any information, please contact the police and/or reply on the blog. This is happening far too often and in the light of day next to a busy road.

Here is another photo with a closer look at the front of the car.

It did have a rear plate, which began with ASL.

31 Replies to "WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: The case of the Mercedes-driving catalytic-converter thieves"

  • Ice June 24, 2021 (11:13 am)

    Mercedes are such expensive cars to fix and they break so often that it is not surprising to me that the owner would turn to stealing to pay for their stupid luxury trash car.

    • CPATFLY June 25, 2021 (10:39 am)

      That is not true.  The cars are reliable.  They are expensive when in need of repair.  The catalytic converter is going to a meth or crack head.    It’s what they do.

  • Ron M June 24, 2021 (11:50 am)

    The front plate is from APX Auto Brokers in Lynnwood. It maybe possible that the suspects work there and borrowed the Mercedes as well as different vehicles from the dealership to steal stuff.

    • GayleC June 24, 2021 (12:18 pm)

      I am hoping the police will be contacting them.  The Element is my car.  I’m so grateful to the person who took the photos.  

    • bolo June 25, 2021 (12:43 pm)

      And if the rear license plate starts with ASL as the victim stated, that was probably issued from the now defunct license agency on California.

  • skeeter June 24, 2021 (1:01 pm)

    That is a Mercedes Benz S-Class.  Fourth generation W220, made from 1999-2005.  If I owned that car I would also have to turn to a life of crime to pay for the repairs and maintenance to keep it running.  Okay seriously, this catalytic-converter theft is awful.  My sincere condolences to the victims who have to spend so much time and money to get their cars repaired.  I’m so sorry.

  • skeeter June 24, 2021 (1:04 pm)

    Also please note that is not a Mercedes 5500.  It is likely a Mercedes S 500.  Mercedes-Benz S-Class (W220) – Wikipedia

  • Don June 24, 2021 (1:09 pm)

    Or just if that car was purchased there,  track the buyer down for some questions… Tired of having my neighbor’s cars (3 so far this year) jacked up and parted out day and night.

  • Smittytheclown June 24, 2021 (1:16 pm)

    Amazing this happens in broad daylight now.  How brazen.   Must  only take seconds.  

  • Bill June 24, 2021 (1:20 pm)

    Is that a handicapped tag hanging from the inside mirror?

  • scubafrog June 24, 2021 (1:32 pm)

    I’ll look online and see if that old Mercedes is on the dealer’s inventory.  

  • 1994 June 24, 2021 (1:37 pm)

    I sure hope the cat thief is tracked down and faces a judge. What a bunch of loser parasites. Get a real job!

  • shotinthefoot June 24, 2021 (2:17 pm)

    does that look like a handicap placard hanging from the rearview mirror on the Mercedes? Might be another way to track them down if the permit # can be read. 

    • GayleC June 24, 2021 (4:23 pm)

      I think you’re correct – looks like one but may have been stolen as well. 

    • waikikigirl June 24, 2021 (5:53 pm)

      Could be a parking permit or the tag that a dealer puts on mirror when the car is in for service???

  • Honda Lucky, So Far June 24, 2021 (2:35 pm)

    Or perhaps the Mercedes is stolen? 
    Or perhaps the front license plate is missing to avoid detection? The dealer cards are a common ploy with illegal use of vehicles.

    Is reimagining police response to  Criminal 101  practices without the ability to stop suspects our future?

  • Mj June 24, 2021 (2:51 pm)

    1994 – an old school judge that actually puts perps behind bars and makes them pay restitution

  • Sunny June 24, 2021 (2:58 pm)

    What will it take to get the laws changed so its not easy to sell the parts ?Its ridiculous. I got the Cat protector for my Prius but still worry that they will try… I don’t even want to leave my car parked on the street at night.

  • CJ June 24, 2021 (4:59 pm)

    The Benz is most likely stolen and or not registered to the lowlife driving it.

  • Don Brubeck June 24, 2021 (8:29 pm)

    So, not only were they catalytic converter thieves, they were also low bridge cheaters. How low can you go?

    • ~Hockeywitch~ June 24, 2021 (9:02 pm)

      How do you know they are low bridge cheaters? The Handicap Parking Placard doesn’t give you permission to use the lower bridge.

  • WSlite June 24, 2021 (10:27 pm)

    If someone has a photography computer program that can clean up image and read that Disabled Placard permit#, it could assist finding out who owns that Mercedes possibly. Placards are not registered to vehicles but it is to an individual person. And if that info can be found out maybe it will lead to this Mercedes. What a couple of up-to-no-good crooks! Hope they are caught. They need to pay up to all the car owners they stole from (not that it will happen but they should be required!). I’m so tired of seeing all these criminals getting away free of charges and responsibilty not paying for what they stole or broke. I’m not blaming police at all (SPD is awesome!), there just seems to be more and more crime and more and more bad people out there with no sense of respect of others and their property. This world has gone crazy. So grateful for citizens to step in and take a photo of something seen as suspicious! Way to go to person for doing that – everyone should say something if they see something! 

  • BJ June 24, 2021 (10:44 pm)

    I tried some filters on the plaque hanging from the mirror. I’m not sure it’s a handicapped pass.  Have another look. Maybe someone can identify now  Even if these people are caught, what are the odds they would go to jail for more than overnight???

  • Detective #22 June 24, 2021 (11:07 pm)

    Looks like a broken drivers side, side view mirror, pretty identifiable. So rude, blatant thievery, broad day light. Thanks to the photographer helping to hopefully track them down.

  • CJ June 25, 2021 (5:05 am)

    Turn your anger into action by signing this petition to “cut out” the market for stolen catshttps://www.change.org/p/stop-the-illegal-sales-of-catalytic-converters-on-offerup

  • CJ again June 25, 2021 (10:41 am)

    Anyone missing a catalytic converter from their Mercedes? I was at the WS Thriftway this morning about 10:30 am. As I parked on the West side of the lot near the Verizon store I noticed freshly cut exhaust system parts dumped on the ground. They had Mercedes symbols stamped on them. 

    • WSB June 25, 2021 (10:45 am)

      Haven’t heard from anyone yet but while covering the fire I did hear someone called in suspected cc theft not far, 37th & Morgan,

      • Mike June 25, 2021 (11:51 am)

        Three police cars at 39th and Juneau now surrounding the car.  

        • WSB June 25, 2021 (12:25 pm)

          Yes! Thanks to you or whoever called it in. We heard the dispatch – which mentioned that the 911 caller reporting it had read about it here – and went over to see what we can find out. Separate story shortly.

          • moo June 25, 2021 (12:38 pm)

            I think the suspect(s) lived where the car was found; there was police activity in the apartment building and the Mercedes was just impounded.

  • Cosmo Topper June 26, 2021 (9:28 pm)

    I get some satisfaction from knowing that my decision to take pictures & share them with WS Blog led to the car being impounded. I’m sorry to learn that the *ss*oles damaged another car. I hope they do jail time & get off the smack.

Sorry, comment time is over.