Catalytic converter thieves remain busy

Honda Element after thieves cut out catalytic converter | Photo courtesy James Stathas

ECHO PARK — This summer’s surge in catalytic converter thefts has continued into the fall, with the Rampart Division recently warning that Honda Elements are the primary target.  A Honda Element owner named Tony who lives near Scott Avenue and Laveta Terrace knows this well. His catalytic converter has been stolen twice this year, with the most recent theft taking place this week.  Said Tony:

This took place Monday evening on the 20th, in front of my residence …   It will cost $3,000 dollars to replace.  This is the second time, same type of theft, same car this year.

The converters, which  contain precious metals, can be sawed off in a few minutes. The high clearance of Honda Elements makes that job easier, according to police.

While some thieves have been arrested in Silver Lake, the thefts have continued across the area.  Some vehicle owners have turned to installing converter protectors – or “cat clamps”  that  act like a metal cage around the catalytic converters to discourage others from trying to steal them.



  1. Alas, there are a lot of new things you can do with battery-operated reciprocating saws and disk grinders. You can pick up a cheap one for less than $50. A lot of things that used to be “secure enough” aren’t any more.

  2. Reminds me of the copper wire theft that happened to the street lamps on our street in Silverlake 2 years ago.

    Like living in a third world country sometimes.

    • The third world is encroaching upon us like a rising tide. Just wait until they raise the minimum wage to $15. The minimum wager will be replaced by a machine or computer thus making that $10 per hour job seem oh so enticing.

      • What a load of crap

        • You all sound like Ted Cruz.

        • Don’t shoot the messenger, dude.


          Did you really think that they could hike the minimum wage and just absorb that extra burden? Go smoke another one.

          • I don’t own a gun, dude. The Wall Street Journal. There’s a fair and balanced news source. I realize you would prefer to to keep full time workers below the poverty line, but it is not good for the economy (or real people). I align more with the opinion of this Nobel laureate. Try this link. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/18/opinion/krugman-raise-that-wage.html

          • There have been literally dozens of studies done (about 65) that conclude that raising the minimum wage would be either a wash or a benefit to the overall economy. And by the way, the WSJ lost virtually all credibility the moment Rupert Murdoch bought it.

          • One hardly needs to rely on the Wall Street Journal nor anyone else’s opinion if they know basic math skills.

            In the case of McDonald’s, it is a pretty simple equation. Either cut hours to reduce labor costs or raise prices. I doubt the market would support the latter.

            Artificial wage inflation simply makes the goods and services more expensive for everyone. While that doesn’t hurt the average to high income wage earners, it will effect those you are trying to help.

            Why not educate people on what to expect out of an entry-level positions? Entry-level positions are great for giving a person with little or no experience an opportunity to learn how to be employed, responsibility and job skills. Entry-level positions are not intended to be a living wage. Those who expect that are making the mistake.

      • Historically automation and technology has always eliminated many jobs while creating fewer ones. This happens regardless of pay scale. A few may convert a bit sooner because of the economics but the technology is so tantalizing and more reliable than humans. When push button order taking came to Mc Ds, et al it was just a matter of time until those push buttons got turned around so the customers could do it themselves. Those who are working need a wages they can live on. We have to figure out what to do with the unemployed.

  3. Serious , has anyone looked into recycling center in echo park , I heard they there buying any metals ” No questions asked ” They need to be shut down !1

    • Exactly right. This is, it goes without saying, a law enforcement issue. If there was a crackdown on the demand side, that would go a long way toward limiting the need for a supply.

  4. I had mine stolen about 4 weeks ago. In Highland Park – so don’t think you’re safe if you don’t live in Echo Park!

  5. A catalytic converter is no more then 200. 3k = new car lmao

  6. Some time between Monday Night (Oct. 13th) and early Wednesday (Oct. 15th) my catalytic converter was stolen in the vicinity of Echo Park Ave and Baxter. Be vigilant & PLEASE if you have any idea who is doing this turn them in!

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