WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: Stolen work van; 3 catalytic converters taken

Two Three Four reports in West Seattle Crime Watch:

STOLEN WORK VAN: The report and photo are from Brenda:

Our housecleaner and her husband had their work van with all of their tools was stolen last Saturday night/Sunday morning (March 19/20th). The white Ford van, license plate C56039L, was parked near 27th and Roxbury and had an alarm system.

The family had a difficult time during the early days of COVID and built an outdoor window washing, power washing, and landscaping business to earn income during the time when service people couldn’t enter homes. Sadly, this work van had all of the tools inside to do their work — construction tools, ladders, power washer, lawnmower, weed whacker, etc.

Spring is their busiest time of year and now they don’t have the tools to run their business and make this income for their family. Please keep your eyes out for the van and ladders with the name “Obed” clearly marked on them. If you have any information on this incident or see these items, the police report number is 22-069329.

CATALYTIC-CONVERTER THEFT: From Christina: “Last night at 130 am, we were woken up by the sound of someone stealing our catalytic converter. We saw a black sedan drive off. We called the police and they said they would drive the neighborhood looking. We live in the Admiral District near West Seattle High School.”

(added 1:05 pm) AND ANOTHER: Just received email from Liz, who says, “I saw the post this morning about a catalytic converter theft near West Seattle High School and mine was stolen last night as well just a few blocks north of WSHS. I parked my car around 8 pm and came back to it at 11:30 this morning and it was gone. I assume the people stealing converters must have hit a few cars as well last night – I wonder if more were stolen.”
.. .
ADDED 7:48 PM: The comment discussion below includes other recent victims of catalytic-converter theft. Meantime, we asked Christina and Liz about the types of cars hit last night. Both were early-2000s Hondas (CR-V and Civic).

ADDED 9:11 PM: One more reader report, emailed anonymously: “Our 2003 Honda CR-V was hit at 2:15 am (Mar 27). Heard extremely loud grinding noise and noticed a vehicle stopped in the street alongside the car. It was a large black SUV that took off after we yelled out. Neighbor’s camera caught the activity – took 1 min, 20 sec. Unable to see suspect (s) or license plate. We are east several blocks from WSHS. Online police report filed.”

28 Replies to "WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: Stolen work van; 3 catalytic converters taken"

  • Nab March 27, 2022 (12:37 pm)

    I don’t know the truth there of the following but it might be worth looking into.  A neighbor who had her truck stolen told me that there is a kind of a chop shop under the West Bridge.  I don’t know who runs it but various sketchy people are tasked to go out and steal trucks.  The big deal is the catalytic converters but the other parts are evidently farmed out, as well.  In one way it wouldn’t surprise me that an operation like this could be allowed to exist as the hands of the police are tied in so many things.  I would like to know the truth of this.

    • Obetroler March 27, 2022 (1:27 pm)

      Yeah I’ve heard murrmering about a major Chop that’s been operating for some time in shop in/near Del Ridge way but I don’t remember exactly except west Seattle. Unbelievable. 

    • East Coast Cynic March 27, 2022 (1:32 pm)

      Something for SPD to investigate if there is anything to it and they have the manpower.

    • Derek March 27, 2022 (1:35 pm)

      The hands of police are not “tied” please stop perpetuating this lie

      • Axe March 27, 2022 (3:49 pm)

        Well don’t they need a warrant? I don’t think they can go waltzing in there. Unless reasonable suspicion is enough. Maybe it is. Perhaps someone with knowledge of the law could opine here as I truly don’t know and unlike others willing to admit that. Also  I would pretty much trust anyone else on here to give a faithful overview of what police can and can’t do but you Derek.  Based on your history of comments you have lost all credibility in my mind.

        • Derek March 27, 2022 (5:27 pm)

          I’m speaking to the “defunding” myth perpetuated by KOMO watchers.

      • Hammer in Hand March 27, 2022 (6:32 pm)

        There hands may not be tied but the fact is… when seconds count the police are minutes away and there just is not enough of them!!

        • Derek March 27, 2022 (8:43 pm)

          Social inequality leads to crime. More cops will never fix that. Fix disparity in wage and quality of life.

    • CheeseWS777 March 28, 2022 (12:25 am)

      Chopshop under the ws bridge..? Wouldn’t that be somewhat easy to spot and clarify? I haven’t seen anything of the sort. Obviously there is som sort of something going on somewhere near but who knows where. I just don’t believe it is someplace under the bridge sorry. I just don’t literally see it

      • Bluerazberry March 28, 2022 (2:05 am)

        I agree with CheeseWS777. I walk all around beginning to end under the West Seattle Bridge & I have never seen anything at all chop shoppin around. NOT EVEN CLOSE! SO… WHERE ) WHAT this person thinks they r seeing is obviously not what’s really going on. I think someone forgot their medication that day. Huh! Great comment CheeseWS777 I’m with u!

  • Linda March 27, 2022 (1:21 pm)

    My husband chased off two guys trying to steal a catalytic converter at 3:15 am in Fauntleroy area in front of our house.  Thieves took off in black sedan.  

  • Kera March 27, 2022 (2:25 pm)

    It happened this early morning By our own Facebook page… On our street on 7800 45th Ave SW 3a. Someone came and stole catalytic converter from white Honda.  It’s small dark sedan with two male in dark clothes. It looks like our street got hit then Fauntleroy to Linda  ugh!

  • Bean March 27, 2022 (3:03 pm)

    my catalytic converter was stolen two weeks ago and a black sedan car drove off.  Here it is on video: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1B5TzAloNuOlwYUCt7GTmyhxN_OfvCKwZ/view?usp=sharingwe got a good shot of the license plate.  Perhaps its the same car?  https://drive.google.com/file/d/1tvdTn4meSTMB0_v3rDcoadtU_buXwdxG/view?usp=sharing

    • Plate lookup guy March 27, 2022 (5:33 pm)

      Bean … FYI, that plate belongs to a 1997 Nissan Maxima GLE, VIN JN1CA21D8VM523597, in case you see it around and want to compare

    • Auntie March 27, 2022 (8:33 pm)

      Same (stolen) plate as Bean’s. Hope the cops are on the lookout for this black sedan with stolen plates… Sure seems to be hanging around West Seattle a lot.

  • Lori March 27, 2022 (4:07 pm)

    We had our catalytic converter stolen also last night. We live in the Gatewood area. 

  • Findlay March 27, 2022 (5:51 pm)

    Can we see articles where SPD is disrupting the auto theft/catalytic converter theft rings? I never hear that they are making any progress. 

    • Anne March 27, 2022 (9:40 pm)

      Just how are the police supposed to be “ disrupting auto theft/ catalytic converter theft rings”??? 

  • OneTimeCharley March 27, 2022 (6:02 pm)

    Has anyone tried the suggestion of etching the vehicle’s VIN on to the converters themselves? No doubt it would make building a legal case against unlawful recyclers easier, as I doubt any of them want that sort of potential evidence anywhere around their operations. I am sincerely hoping for some relief from this scourge of theft we are all enduring these days.

    • Ex-Westwood Resident March 28, 2022 (3:42 pm)

      The issue with that is they don’t sell the converter itself. They take out the materials inside, sell them and then throw out the case.

      So etching the VIN or other ID numbers on it really does no good in the long run.

      The best idea is to buy a CC shield as mentioned below.

  • WS Res March 27, 2022 (8:12 pm)

    1) Get a Cat shield installed if you don’t have one.  $200 bucks, Muffler Shoppe in White Center.2) Is there a GoFundMe for the cleaners whose tools have been stolen? An Amazon or other wishlist? Let us know how we can help.

    • Case March 27, 2022 (10:51 pm)

      Yes same here, we would love to help! 

    • KD March 27, 2022 (11:58 pm)

      Same thought as above ⬆️ I’d like to contribute $100.00 to the hard working couple and get them back on their feet asap. Not just money, but if there is a list of tangible items to donate that if some of us don’t use anymore. How can we get in direct contact with to find out what’s needed and what to deliver? God Bless Them! 

  • valvashon March 28, 2022 (7:47 am)

    I see that 23 converters were stolen in the headline but I don’t see that count attributed to any source.  There are more reports in the comments here but the converters stolen don’t add up to 23.  While I’m not trying to minimize this problem 8 or 9 is considerably less than 23.

    • WSB March 28, 2022 (9:22 am)


  • Jones brogie March 28, 2022 (9:00 am)

    The chop shop your looking for is under the first Ave bridge

  • MrsShaw March 28, 2022 (6:01 pm)

    Under south side of 1st Ave Bridge is what looks like an auto wrecking yard.  What  about the mystery Harbor Ave SW  warehouse, south of 7-11; the one  with the loud speaker telling people to leave the property or call for access? 

Sorry, comment time is over.