Catalytic converter thefts spike in Mt. Shasta – Tips on how to protect your vehicle

MT. SHASTA, Calif. — A recent spike of catalytic converter thefts in the Mt. Shasta area has led officials to issue warnings and advice about how area residents can protect their vehicle’s catalytic converters against theft. Although the thefts tend to hit repair shops and businesses with ungaraged fleets the hardest, anyone, anywhere can be targeted.

Law enforcement agencies throughout the state and nation have reported similar increases in thefts of the expensive exhaust component – which require nothing more than a few minutes and a hacksaw or Sawzall – primarily due to the resale value of various platinum group metals (PGMs) found inside the converter.

The metals, such as platinum (Pt), palladium (Pd), rhodium (Rh), and others, are considered valuable and can be sold by thieves to make some quick cash, with estimates of recoverable PGMs ranging from $50 to a few hundred dollars per stolen converter. However, the cost to replace that same catalytic converter can range from several hundred to even several thousand dollars.

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Over the last week, Mt. Shasta Police Department has responded to multiple reports of catalytic converter thefts throughout the city, with five catalytic converters being stolen over an eight day period.

The first theft of a catalytic converter involved an early-morning theft from a Prius parked at Mountain Fitness, during the early-morning hours of June 9. The suspects in that case were captured on surveillance video driving a Toyota Corolla and were described as three men; including one Hispanic male, one Asian male, and a third with no description available.

A second theft report, which also involved a Prius, was taken the following day after the Toyota’s catalytic converter was swiped while parked in the 200 block of Terry Lynn Ave. The theft was believed to have occurred sometime between noon on June 8th and 2 p.m. on the 9th. No suspects or suspect vehicle were seen.

Then on June 17, officers took another report of three additional thefts from a business in the 1000 block of S. Mt. Shasta Blvd., bringing the eight day total of thefts to five.

Although there are no known businesses in the Mt. Shasta area that purchase used catalytic converters, according to Mt. Shasta PD there are several in Redding, Medford, and Klamath Falls that may.

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“This type of theft is on the rise across the state and country,” the department recently explained in a social media release. “The best way to combat this is to secure your vehicles at night, install motion sensor lights outside near your parked vehicle and have some type of surveillance to help identify suspects, times, and vehicles.”

“We also highly encourage all residents to keep their vehicles parked in a garage if possible or in a well-lit area,” they continued; adding, “Other preventives to look into is to install an anti-theft device on your vehicle’s catalytic converter as well as engrave your vehicles VIN number or paint your vehicle’s catalytic converter.”

Below is a video made by Fresno Police Department that details information on these types of thefts.



Contact the writer: trevor.rcns@gmail.com

Trevor Montgomery, 49, moved in 2017 to the Intermountain area of Shasta County from Riverside County and runs Riverside County News Source (RCNS) and Shasta County News Source (SCNS).

Additionally, he writes or has written for several other news organizations; including Riverside County-based newspapers Valley News, Valley Chronicle, Anza Valley Outlook, and Hemet & San Jacinto Chronicle; the Bonsall/Fallbrook Village News in San Diego County; and Mountain Echo in Shasta County. He is also a regular contributor to Thin Blue Line TV and Law Enforcement News Network and has had his stories featured on news stations throughout the Southern California and North State regions.

Trevor spent 10 years in the U.S. Army as an Orthopedic Specialist before joining the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department in 1998. He was medically retired after losing his leg, breaking his back, and suffering both spinal cord and brain injuries in an off-duty accident. (Click here to see segment of Discovery Channel documentary of Trevor’s accident.)

During his time with the sheriff’s department, Trevor worked at several different stations; including Robert Presley Detention Center, Southwest Station in Temecula, Hemet/Valle Vista Station, Ben Clark Public Safety Training Center, and Lake Elsinore Station; along with other locations.

Trevor’s assignments included Corrections, Patrol, DUI Enforcement, Boat and Personal Water-Craft based Lake Patrol, Off-Road Vehicle Enforcement, Problem Oriented Policing Team, and Personnel/Background Investigations. He finished his career while working as a Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Investigator and was a court-designated expert in child abuse and child sex-related crimes.

Trevor has been married for more than 30 years and was a foster parent to more than 60 children over 13 years. He is now an adoptive parent and his “fluid family” includes 13 children and 18 grandchildren.

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