September 19, 2015

LAPD Devonshire Division's Catalytic Converter Task Force Busts Dishonest Metal Recyclers

Yesterday, I was proud to join the Los Angeles Police Department to announce the arrest of five suspects and the confiscation of thousands of dollars in stolen property. This was the result of a 6 month investigation by the LAPD/Operations Valley Bureau’s (OVB) Catalytic Converter Task Force (CCTF).

The CCTF was formed to combat catalytic converter thefts occurring throughout San Fernando Valley. Catalytic converters are targeted by thieves because they contain precious metals such as platinum, rhodium, and/or palladium.

Detectives learned that victims would start their vehicles and then notice loud sounds originating from underneath their vehicles. After inspecting the vehicles, the victims found that their catalytic converter had been cut from the exhaust system. Victims found that the average cost to replace and repair the exhaust system was approximately $1,700.00.

During the investigation, nearly a dozen catalytic converter thieves were arrested and charged with felony grand theft.The CCTF has worked closely with the Los Angeles County District Attorney Office, Los Angeles City Attorney-Environmental Crimes Section, Internal Revenue Services, State Franchise Tax Board, and National Insurance Crime Bureau.

The stolen property included:

  • 9 pallets of stolen Catalytic converters, estimated to contain 500-1000 catalytic converters
  • 3 rifles-(AK style assault weapons)
  • 1 shotgun
  • 3 handguns
  • 2 vehicles

Not only do the victims of these types of crime incur this expense, but for many, their personal vehicle is their only mode of transportation to get to work. This crime effects the livelihood of the victims. I am proud of our LAPD Devonshire Division and the Catalytic Converter Task Force for putting these criminals behind bars.

Click here to read the Daily News story.

-Mitchell Englander, Chair of the Public Safety Committee 

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