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Midnight Thieves Mining Tundras And Sequoias For Catalytic Converters

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If you wake up one day, stagger out to the get-to-work car coffee in hand and fire the beast up only to have it sound like a coffee grinder filled with ball bearings – you may have joined the ranks of recent victims who have had their catalytic converters stolen by crafty crooks so fast they should consider jobs working as pit crews at the Indy 500.

But they don’t and they’re here, hitting 13 cars in Walnut Creek alone yesterday, 15 in Danville, more than a dozen in San Ramon. Police say the thieves like Toyotas – slipping under two Tundras and eight Sequoias in neighborhoods near the Countrywood Shopping Center at Bancroft and Treat.

The thieves struck between the hours of 10 p.m. and 6 a.m., police said.

The converters have become a hot commodity for thieves. Popular because of their value, relative ease to steal and their lack of identifying markings, thefts have skyrocketed in recent years with recyclers paying an average of $50 per converter for the precious metals inside them. That price can go up to $250 for the “right” converter.

Any car manufactured after 1974 can be a target but, as we’ve seen, trucks and SUVs are the vehicles most often targeted. Toyota Trucks and SUVs in the ’90s to the late 2000s are especially vulnerable because their converters are more exposed.

As you can see from the video – it doesn’t take long for these guys to snag one.

10 COMMENTS

  1. Why do I get the feeling these crooks are working on our cars during the day and stealing parts from them at night?

  2. This was like weekend fishing in Sacramento when we used to live there. It’s a recreation sport. I think the police were able to make headway by putting the recycling companies that drive this market on notice.

  3. Yes time to clean out the garage and move the cars in!! My neighbors have been victimized twice in recent months losing a window on one occasion. It can add up. And then there’s the insurance……

  4. Let’s see – ten thefts by (at least) 50 bucks per (carry the one count on my fingers) – hey that’s a pretty good take home for a couple of hours work. Creepers.

  5. Tundra’s and Sequoias. Add to that Tahoes, Explorers, Expeditions, and Trailblazers. What I do not understand is why the vehicles with the ‘outdoorsy’ kind of names are exactly the ones with the worst gas mileage, bad for the environment and take up as much space as possible. They should be more honestly named things like the “I don’t care” or “Me First” or “Glacier Killer.”

    • The editors at NEWS24-680 would like to thank Mr. Napoleon for reducing the staff to a helpless squad of coffee-snorting, apoplectic and non-producing scribblers with “Glacier Killer.” Very good. Don’t do it again. We’re trying to get some work done around here… ;-}

  6. And the higher these things are off the ground the easier it is for the bad boys to get under and do their stuff. Go after the recyclers.

  7. @Napoleon re: Glacier Killer… very funny.

    It appears the big truck market is back with people buying even bigger cars and trucks.

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