Deputies: LA County seeing 400% increase in catalytic converter theft

The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department is raising the alarm on catalytic converter thefts after deputies arrested nearly 20 people in a recent warrant operation.

According to LASD's Santa Clarita Valley station, deputies led a search warrant operation that ended in 19 arrests and 250 catalytic converters being recovered -- a total value estimated at $750,000. LASD also recovered a "ghost" handgun and about $100,000.

LASD said in a press release that catalytic converter theft continues to be a growing trend. Deputies say it became an alarming trend in 2020, with a 400% increase throughout Los Angeles County.

"Catalytic converters are attached to the exhaust system of a vehicle. They contain precious metals and can be 'scrapped' for quick profit," LASD's press release said, in-part.

LASD shared the following tips on how to avoid getting your catalytic converter stolen:

  • Park in well-lit areas with surveillance cameras
  • Weld the bolts on your catalytic converter shut
  • Engrave or etch the license plate number onto your catalytic converter
  • Always report suspicious activity – If you see something, say something

Anyone with information on catalytic converter thefts across the Santa Clarita Valley is asked to call 661-255-1121.

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