Catalytic converter thieves hit Echo Park and Elysian Heights

Muffler and catalytic converter  | Noricum/Flickr

Muffler and catalytic converter | Noricum/Flickr

ECHO PARK — An Echo Park  truck owner named John was one of victims of catalytic converter thieves who were busy cutting away the valuable auto part (which contain precious metals) from neighborhood vehicles this week. John, who lives on Echo Park Avenue near Avalon Street, said he discovered the theft when he started up his Toyota Tundra on Wednesday morning:

I woke up yesterday morning to a truck that sounded like 8 Harley’s with short pipes. They literally cut my two catalytic converters out of my exhaust system. I usually park in my driveway, behind a gate but didn’t on Tuesday night. In the morning they were gone. It really sucks, because replacing them is going to cost around $1200.00! The cops said ‘yeah, its happening a lot.’ The car parts guys said ‘yeah its happening a lot.’ I wish I had known!”

Meanwhile, catalytic converters thieves were apparently at it again early Thursday morning in Elysian Heights near Lemoyne and Cerro Gordo streets, according to an email be shared by neighbors. In the email passed along to The Eastsider, a resident said she called 911 at 1:45 a.m. on Thursday “after hearing a loud sawing sound outside my house.”  She assumed someone was stealing hubcaps. Turns out they were going after catalytic converters. “Be aware and be active with your neighbors!!” the email said.


  1. FYI to Los Feliz residents- this happened to my neighbor about a month ago on Franklin and Berendo. The thieves acted at 3 AM and I believe were eventually caught. Loud sawing woke me up and I looked out my window to find a car double-parked on Franklin so that the passenger could steal the converter. Keep an eye out people!

    • those bastards!!! i was hit last night (franklin ave/hoover st)….they took it from my 2011 element…..ugh- cops aint doing shit- i called them to tell them all i got was, “yeah, we get those a lot!!!”

  2. Eastside Architect

    I live on Descanso in Silver Lake. I’ve had my catalytic converter stolen twice in about 5 years. I have a ’99 4Runner and have found out that apparently, that era of Toyota’s it’s really easy to cut out the catalytic converters because they aren’t so secured. More modern cars have the catalytic converters more secured and thus harder to steal. Just an FYI for turn of the century Toyota owners. Similar Toyota’s in my neighborhood were hit too. Thank goodness for insurance! The story above is cheap, especially for 2 converters! Mine cost almost $3,000 to replace due to the damage caused from the sawing. FYI, there are ways to secure your catalytic converter by welding in straps over the casing so it can’t be so easily pulled out. The crooks only get about $80 for each stolen catalytic converter. Sad.

  3. This has happened recently in my neighborhood of Silver Lake and when I chatted with the neighbor who had his converter cut out, he said that truck like vehicles with higher clearance are the targets because it’s easier to get under them.

  4. This happened tome in December of 2013, while parking overnight in Silverlake. I had parked on the street and my Toyota Tundra was targeted. The thieves surgically removed the right passenger side converter and my insurance covered it. For some reason they did not take both of the converters. Most likely it was too exposed to traffic and there are a-lot of people that move thru that area even at night. It is a bit startling when you turn on the engine, it sounds like you thru a rod while standing very close a a very loud Harley. If this happens to you, you need to file a police report right away and call you insurance.

  5. This happened on Elsinore and Mohawk street last month too.

  6. The recycling places that pay thieves for ccs and other tweaker heists should be held accountable for receiving stolen property.

    • Totally agree! If you could cut out the illegal reselling, you could eliminate a lot of the stealing.

    • Amen to that. It should be pretty damn obvious who these thieves are and the recycling places ought to be legally prohibited from purchasing cc’s and copper wire from other than a reputable source until a more concrete policy gets sorted out.

    • Yes!! I agreee

  7. I got hit last night. Effie in Silverlake. I have a Honda Element and the cops said two others were hit last night as well.

  8. Hit me on Weds night, Westerly Terrace and Elevado St.

  9. I got hit 6/9/14 in Glendale… anyone else out there get hit?

  10. The resale of catalytic converters should be prohibited.

    My Toyota tundra was targeted a second time. The first time was back in early January and this last time between the evening of Thursday June 12 to 2:30 PM Friday June 13, 2014. This time the thieves took both catalytic converters. I suspect it happened in the dead of the night and I heard nothing. I love my truck but I will be looking to sell it and buy something with less ground clearance. Did anyone else get hit in and around Silverlake on this night?

    I recently read that in the town of Camarillo, the police department has a program to have your license plate number engraved onto the catalytic converters and they paint in big reflective lettering the word, “POLICE”, which alerts the thief that the catalytic converter has been engraved and they will most likely move onto another vehicle without an engraving. I will investigate to see if the LAPD has a similar program and if not, I shall advocate for such a program to be initiated.

  11. My honda element was hit 6/15/14 on edgecliffe in silver lake. 2nd time in 3 months. Love my car but this is ridiculous.

  12. I just got hit today (June 25) in Los Feliz Square. I also own a Honda Element.

  13. Ugh. Me too. My catalytic converter was stolen from my Honda Element. on Douglas St sometime between June 6-11.

  14. Thieves hit again last night, our friend lost hers from her Honda Element – Mohawk and Elsinore.

  15. Thieves hit my element early morning on the 26th on hoover&franklin . I’m furious!

  16. I live in Silvelake. Maltman Ave & Effie St.
    The Night of Thursday, February 27, 2014, the only time this year it’s rained really hard in Los Angeles, the catalytic converter from my 2010 Honda Element was stolen. It cost $2200.00 to replace (I paid a $500.00 deductible). Time went by and without any hard rain on the horizon I relaxed.
    On the Night of Thursday, June 12th, It was stolen again. Another $2200.00 to replace (I paid a $500.00 deductible).
    I haven’t slept through one entire night since.
    Last night, August 2nd, It spritzed throughout L.A. I slept in a chair in front of a window with a direct view of my vehicle. I did not sleep the night through.
    Both nights the catalytic converter was stolen, I was parked in a dark area in front of my place. I now park across the street, because the thief or thieves goes/go under the vehicle on the street side, since there is more room to go under on that side. Parking in front of my place I couldn’t see that side of the vehicle.
    I also park it across the street with the light from a street lamp shinning on it.
    The cops aren’t going to do anything.
    All I can do is wait for them to come. Take photographs, descriptions and license plate numbers and let them steal it again so I can get them in the act and put these a-holes away.
    I had no idea this theft was so rampant in our area.
    I think I need to get that Cat Strap contraption.
    LAPD North East Station 323-344-5701. Starting Monday, August 4th, I will begin to call the North East Police Station Between 5pm and 10pm everyday and ask for police to drive through my area after midnight. I will call everyday to annoy the police into policing my area and stop this theft.
    Perhaps a few of us Honda Owners should park all together to make it irresistible for these thieves. We hide and block their vehicle from exiting the street. If they run, that would be fine. Their fingerprints would be all over the inside of their vehicles. And we would be teaching them a lesson a la Twisted Sister, We’re Not Gonna Take It Anymore…

  17. This just happened to me in silver lake on Sanborn and hoover. They sawed it off 🙁

  18. Had mine stolen some time between August 13-17th, less than two weeks after purchasing our 2010 Element in Los Feliz. I wish I had found and heeded this article sooner. I would’ve installed a Cat Strap the moment I bought the car.

  19. This happened to our element last night in Eaglerock on Linda Rosa & Colorado

  20. Just happened to me in Highland Park – on Avenue 50 at Buchanan near the middle school – IN BROAD DAYLIGHT while I was writing at Cafe de Leche. Yes, it costs around $2K to replace.


  21. A towtruck driver, hauling an Element two days ago, warned my b/f (who was driving my ’07 Element) that this happened 3 times recently on Lucretia/Echo Park Ave.

  22. Thieves hit the Hollywood area, near sunset/gower, sawed off the catalytic converter.

  23. Mine was stolen off my Honda Element in January.
    Hoover / Sanborn in Silver Lake.

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