WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: Wheels, catalytic converters stolen

Three reader reports about items taken from cars:

STOLEN WHEELS: The photo and report are from John, who says the victim is his neighbor:

Wheels stolen off this car in front of Holy Rosary last night after 1 am.

And two more stolen catalytic converters:

SOUTH OF THE JUNCTION: Another reader named John reports, “I got back from lovely vacation (Saturday) night to find some lowlife a–hole stole my catalytic converter from my Honda Element. 42nd SW and SW Dawson. Sometime between September 4 and 18.”

BEACH DRIVE: Deborah reports, “I started my car around 8:15 (Saturday) morning to a horrendous racket. Neighbor heard noise and looked out at the parking lot around 3:30 am, to see a blue 4-door sedan departing the complex. We assume this vehicle contained the thieves who removed my catalytic converter. My car was parked in a well-lit lot of a small apartment building at 4120 Beach Dr SW. No other hybrids in our small lot appear to have been hit (yet). The theft has been reported to SPD.” (Her car is a 2008 Prius.)

26 Replies to "WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: Wheels, catalytic converters stolen"

  • Wendell September 19, 2021 (7:56 pm)

    42nd SW and SW Dawson. Recent shooting on that corner, now a precious metal concert. Mr. Rogers has left the neighborhood.

  • SVT September 19, 2021 (8:28 pm)

    Catalytic Converter was stolen out of our Honda Element Sunday night in the Gatewood area. Apparently, Elements are a target, as they are easy to access/remove.

  • Geoff September 19, 2021 (9:58 pm)

    cat converter theft is often covered by comprehensive insurance. Ours had a $100 deductable when I lost two off my van.

  • Gatewood September 19, 2021 (11:24 pm)

    Do we know if SPD is actively trying to specifically do something about these endless catalytic converter thefts in West Seattle— like doing stakeouts on bait cars or the like? Anything? It was a significant expense and inconvenience for me to have a cat shield installed after my c.c. was stolen back when (my insurance wouldn’t pay for the shield). I sympathize with everyone who is a victim of this crime, it’s a real drag. I know this is a national scourge but I’ve yet to hear about special measures being taken to combat this here in WS by SPD.

    • WSB September 20, 2021 (12:25 am)

      This is by no means a West Seattle problem – it’s national. Go to Google News, search on “catalytic converter,” and scroll away. That said, since a mention at a meeting a few months ago that supposedly a “task force” was working on it, we haven’t heard anything further.

      • Gatewood September 20, 2021 (12:39 am)

        Thanks for the reply and for all your fine reporting but perhaps you overlooked that I’d written “I know this is a national scourge”? I say that with all respect and zero snark. I’ve been closely monitoring this quality of life property crime locally, regionally, nationally, and internationally for a long time. I’d written my initial post because I’m frustrated by what I perceive as total inaction and indifference by law enforcement in our area on this pervasive criminal activity. Much appreciated if you can share word of any alleged “task force” update(s). Thanks!

        • JES September 20, 2021 (5:46 am)

          I completely agree. It doesn’t need to be a problem exclusive to Seattle for SPD to do something about it! Where is the action??

        • East Coast Cynic September 20, 2021 (7:21 am)

          I suspect the defunding of the police with its reduction of cops on the streets and departures from the department has compromised the ability of the police to respond to the escalating crime in the city. 

        • waughtown September 20, 2021 (8:11 am)

          See story above regarding Seattle Police severe staffing shortage.  That should answer your questions regarding why stake outs, etc. aren’t happening.  I think we all know why there is a Seattle PD staffing shortage.  Remember this next time you vote.

    • Amy September 20, 2021 (6:54 am)

      No, they are not. Property damage crime vs. DV or shooting, where do you think they are spending their time and resources? 

    • Carson September 20, 2021 (9:00 am)

      Is SPD actively doing anything? I don’t think they even follow up on tips. First, my observations are just that, observations and I have no clue if SPD follows up on anything. Several months ago I was on my pre dawn run on Harbor Ave. There is an RV encampment across from the 7-11. I saw a stack of CC. I reported it. Last month again I was running by, the people who live there are usually up and active early. That morning they had a few cordless sawzalls out. Again, just my observations and not an indication of guilt at all. Every day they seem to have new piles of stuff.

    • Lagartija Nick September 20, 2021 (11:45 am)

      Going after the thieves is a pointless “whack-a-mole” exercise in futility. Until and unless we start going after the businesses that are purchasing these stolen parts nothing will change. Unfortunately, that will never happen because “business” is sacrosanct in this country.

      • smallbizowner September 20, 2021 (12:28 pm)

        We probably need police to do that, and since they are all busy trying to keep up with emergency calls, I am pretty sure it will get worse before it gets better. But sure, blame businesses for this, and not the individuals that are stealing. 

        • Lagartija Nick September 20, 2021 (1:17 pm)

          Thanks for proving my point. Thieves wouldn’t be stealing these items if the metal recycling businesses weren’t buying them. Pretty sure it’s a crime to buy stolen property but yeah, let’s just focus on the theft and not the totally ‘above board’ business profiting off it. It’s the American way!

          • bill September 20, 2021 (9:12 pm)

            Indeed this is the next “business opportunity” for metal recyclers. The previous boom was in copper wire stolen from street lighting systems. That appears to have petered out since the city has pretty much ceased repairing street lights.

        • Lagartija Nick September 20, 2021 (1:26 pm)

          Also, which is a better use of law enforcement resources? Staking out and trying to capture countless catalytic converter thieves and prosecuting them for misdemeanors or auditing the books of a couple metal recycling businesses and prosecuting them for felony trafficking in stolen property.

          • WSB September 20, 2021 (1:29 pm)

            Datapoint, catalytic converter theft goes over the $750 felony limit.

          • Lagartija Nick September 20, 2021 (2:45 pm)

            WSB, I wondered about that, thank you for the correction. 

          • bolo September 21, 2021 (11:19 am)

            If it was not so easy to sell stolen catalytic converters they would stop getting stolen.

  • Sasquatch September 20, 2021 (7:44 am)

    It seems like the police could target whoever is responsible for purchasing the stolen catalytic converter‘s. I’ve always suspected it’s a metal strip yard/recycling place. But it could be the black market? I have no idea. That is the missing piece. Call Jesse?

    • Jay September 20, 2021 (1:51 pm)

      The problem is that it’s totally legal, scrapyards are buying them by the truckload. There are no measures being taken to prevent scrapyards from fencing stolen cats. They’re even advertising online about paying top dollar for cats.

  • Balderdash September 20, 2021 (11:24 am)

    Low life a holes… yup… you nailed it

  • Derek September 20, 2021 (2:26 pm)

    Attack poverty by paying people a UBI so less people need money bad enough to steal one. 

  • Audifans September 24, 2021 (8:03 am)

    As to the catalytic convertors, I got a FAX from a group wanting to buy cats. Since so many are being stolen, this immediately seems suspicious. “Take a picture of it and send the code and we will tell you what we will pay” WashingtonCatGuys@yahoo.com That might explain perhaps who are buying these things.

  • Audifans September 25, 2021 (11:09 am)

    make car owners impoverished by taking their way of getting to and from the job much harder and more expensive.  The single mom you stole the cat from now has a much harder time of making a living to support her kids.   That said, make it harder for the thieves to steal your cat.   These felons are not going to stop

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