Echo Park truck and SUV owners warned to watch out for catalytic converter theft

Missing converter/SidewalkFlying Flickr

B. Mann of Echo Park could not figure out what the problem was with her Tacoma pick up truck earlier this week until a tow truck driver informed her that her catalytic converter had been stolen.  Now, Mann, whose truck was parked near Allesandro Street and Berkeley Avenue when thieves struck Tuesday night, faces a $700 repair bill and is warning her neighbors – especially owners of trucks and SUVs – to be on the look out.  Said Mann:

Apparently they target trucks and SUVs because they’re higher off the ground, so it’s easier to get in there and pull it out …  It turns out this has become incredibly common.

Sgt. Danny Roman with the Northeast Division confirms those converters are not only “easy to remove, they are valuable.” An “after-market [converter] can easily cost $300 – $800 each.”


  1. The CCAC had theirs stolen this year from an anti-graffiti truck. 🙁

  2. Yes, this happened to my dad’s Toyota Tundra. Huge pain & expensive to fix.

  3. This happened to a co-worker in Sun Valley, just north of the Burbank airport. $500 to fix it. Unfortunate that they’re doing it by my house now. I was hoping it was confined to the crappy areas.

  4. ^^ With a name like “Chad” I’m not suprised by your snobby remark “I was hoping it was confined to the crappy areas” I bet you wear sweaters around your shoulders and slip on loafers..

  5. You can weld a pipe in the catalytic converter’s place; Have better performance but not legal. My license plate was stolen off my Tacoma this week. NE Divsion said they would increase patrols (have not seen the black and whites yet). The worst part was that Minnie Pup was barking at the thief and I was just yelling at her to shut up.

    • Awe poor puppy!!! Minnie deserves some nice treats in her Christmas stocking 🙂 To everyone else if you take a look at the LAPD crime maps Inglewood has about 150 crimes a week and Beverly Hills has 800.

  6. LOL Chad and Brian! Isn’t there daily police activity, a homeless encampment and weekly tagging right around Allesandro and Berkeley?

  7. Hahahaaa Brian – you need to lighten up. Are you angry because you live in a crappy area? Don’t be mad at Chad for wearing sweaters around his shoulders and slip on loafers — get a better job and some anger management.

  8. Had this happen to me a while ago. Sorry SOBs style my entire truck to get that. If they had skill they would just do it on the street.

  9. wow Brian..no expression of contempt for petty thieves, sympathy for the people, like me, who has had theirs stolen..just an eruption at the slightest of mention any truth..if the shoe fits, you gotta wear it!! ..and you are correct Chad..you don’t have to go anywhere, they’ll find us snobs and hillbillys or whatever new derogatory term they have invented for the civilized people of California, and rob us blind, directly by stealing our personal property or indirectly by stealing our social services through corruption and fraud..

    • dude…lighten up. we had our house broken into some months ago, but i can still find what Brian said funny. point is, crime happens no matter what the neighborhood average annual income is.

  10. Question is how did they get under the car without anyone noticing? O.o*

    “confined to the crappy areas” – oh, dear one people get mugged in Beverly Hills. crime happens everywhere.

  11. well if you wanna drive a giant truck, with way more rhodium or platinum in the cc…. then make sure you are insured… cause its gonna get jacked.

  12. yep, this is pretty common low brow petty theft. my advice is to get it welded in place before they steal it and after it’s replaced.

  13. Get a lowrider or a euro.
    Suvs and Trucks are lame

  14. Brian-thanks for the best laugh I’ve had all week!

  15. I must confess it’s difficult to muster any sympathy for anyone who drives an SUV. Bad for the environment, dangerous to riders, and potentially fatal to drivers of more sensibly-sized vehicles in accidents.

    • what an ignorant comment . my dad gave me a truck because i cant afford a new car. it runs , and its all i have until i can pay off my college loans to get my ass to work . maybe i should start stripping so i can afford a prius .
      until than , i drive safely and the car has nothing to do with safety moron , its the driver .

  16. @Zaius because a refrigerator fits so fantastically in a Prius.
    I hope someone jacks your oh-so-environmentally friendly
    800 pound battery packs.

    • I drive the most inexpensive car sold in this country. It has no power anything, no A/C even. Where did I mention I owned a Prius?

  17. While everyone’s failing to muster sympathy for and/or stereotyping SUVs and their owners, this crime is happening to people like my out-of-work neighbor who drives a 1989 Nissan pick-up parked out on the street.

  18. I live in city terrace and the catalytic convertor gnas been stolen 3 times. Twice in front on our house during the day and once in front of whole foods Pasadena.

  19. where the hell are these people shopping for catalytic converters?
    i had one installed last year for $229.
    damn people, shop around.

  20. My friend who owns Toyota 4Runner was hit about a month ago by the same Catalytic thief. She got in and started the car and thoguht that a someone had started a tractor nearby. =) Cars sound awesome without the cat convertor. This “cat burglar” is ballsy too as he and struck in the middle of the day while she was at work in the sunset junction area a few blocks away.

  21. People love being mean to others on this site. Sheesh. Always makes me think the progressive element the eastside holds is paper thin.

    Consider spraying mace on the under belly of ur cars and the thieves will not be happy when choosing ur whip!

  22. Where have you people been, this has been happening for years. Someone has to took at those auto body shops on mission rd near USC hospital. @brian that was a funny comment to chad. Lol

  23. Tiffeney Henderson

    About 3 years ago, I lost my catalytic converter off of my small 1990 Toyota motor home……..and I was parked on the street in the uptown area of my town 1/2 block from the police department. I was told that the catalytic converters of the older Toyota motorhomes had more precious metals in them.

  24. consider getting one of these, especially for those of you who keep getting ripped off.

  25. Hold on. Beverly Hills has 800 reported crimes a WEEK?

  26. Some misinformation being posted here (whatta surprise).

    > Thieves don’t ‘unbolt’ cat’s from cars, they use battery operated sawzalls, so ‘welding’ the cat in won’t work. Many cat’s are welded in to the pipes anyway and you can’t weld them to the body/frame ‘cos the vibration from the engine-to-exhaust will rattle everything apart.

    >While you might be able to replace your cat with a $229 universal style, that would only work on a older cat equipped car, like from the ’80’s or early ’90’s perhaps. The newer cars computer are on a closed loop system that monitors the cat there aren’t any cat’s avail aftermarket for them, can ONLY get them from the OEM dealer and you’re looking at $1k+ usually. That’s ‘if’ you want to pass the smog test that is.

    >And for those mentioning running w/o a cat: Again, a later model car might/will go into a ‘fail safe’ mode if the computer cant’ detect the cat. And earlier model car (i.e. ’80’s) will run fine w/o a cat, though you’re not gonna pass the smog test.

    Big trucks vs. prius (or other ‘green’ cars): A lot of environmental impact is involved in manufacturing any NEW car, and a prius, with it’s battery packs needs a lot of nickle smelting to produce them, very harmful to the environment. A old truck or car has had its environment impact already done and over with. Yes it gets worse mileage, but the pollution created when the truck was built has already been released, while a new car or even a prius creates a HUGE ‘additional’ environmental impact over a older car/truck. Depending on the older car/truck you’re comparing to, a prius would need to drive anywhere from 50k-100k-200k miles to just ‘break even’ on a total environmental impact bases vs a used older vehicle.

    >Freakonomics: A person with 2 kids or even 1 kid in a prius will NEVER have a better ‘green’ impact on this earth vs. a single guy/girl driving a Hummer with NO kids. Period. So when a person with kids gets all ‘green’ on a single person who drives a truck or hummer that chooses to either not have kids (or at least adopt ones that are already here), it makes me roll my eyes just a bit (ok, a LOT).

  27. @mike> Catalytic’s don’t have any ‘gold’ in them, platinum yes, no gold.

  28. But Fleaman, what about this crime epidemic going on in Beverly Hills?!

  29. @fleaman > Thanks for the info. I have a 4runner and not interested in replacing the CATC anytime soon… Do you have any tips to avoid getting the CATC ripped off?

  30. My cat converter was sawed off about a year ago in Echo Park. It’s a bummer for sure. I went to move it in the morning for street sweeping and when I started it, it sounded like a pack of Harley Davidson’s.

    Also, how ’bout a little restraint on the negativity aimed at others in comment sections? Geeze. Let’s all try to treat each other a little better. The world could be a better place.

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