California Experiences Rise in Catalytic Converter Thefts

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April 18, 2019—California is seeing a surplus in catalytic converter thefts for Toyota Priuses. KPIX-TV reports that San Francisco shops and police departments are aware of the theft surplus. 

“We got in the car Sunday morning to go to Walnut Creek and we heard this horrible grinding sound,” San Francisco resident Sarah Weil said to KPIX-TV.

A mechanic diagnosed her Prius' problem over the phone, said Weil.

“He told us to drive in and they’d take care of it. But then we got there, the parts on back order because this is so common. We’re not getting our car back for four days now,” Weil explained.

California tried to diminish thefts on catalytic converters a decade ago, where it was almost made illegal to sell them to auto repairs shops or recyclers. 

“The precious metals inside make them worth money,” Greg Jones, a mechanic at Luscious Garage in San Francisco said to KPIX-TV.

A Toyota spokesperson told KPIX-TV that they were just learning about the rise in thefts and were not aware of any shortage in the replacement parts.

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