Thieves steal 9 catalytic converters Sunday night
Catalytic converter thieves stole at least nine converters in the Valley on Sunday night.
Seven of the incidents were in the Springs while two were in Sonoma. There are reports of a third theft in Sonoma, but no details were available. All of the vehicles were Toyota pickup trucks or Toyota 4Runners.
Sgt. Greg Stashyn, with the Sheriff's Valley substation, said the first report came in a little after 8 a.m. on Monday, May 9. A resident in the 500 block of Bokman Place told deputies that sometime overnight, somebody removed the converters from her 1995 Toyota pickup that was parked on the street, and her 1998 Toyota 4Runner that was parked in the driveway. The victim told deputies that a tree had fallen this winter and took out the street light, leaving the area very dark.
The thieves unbolted the converters from both vehicles. The owner estimated the replacement cost at less than $1,000.
About an hour after the initial call, a resident in the 18700 block of Jami Lee Lane reported that sometime overnight, somebody took the catalytic converter from her 1998 Toyota 4Runner. She discovered the theft when she started her car and the loud noise alerted her to the fact that something was amiss. Deputies found the bolts next to the vehicle.
Three hours later, at 12:28 p.m., another victim in the 18700 block of Jami Lee Lane reported that someone had stolen the catalytic converter from a 2000 Toyota Tundra pickup. The vehicle was parked in the driveway and the converter was partially unbolted and partially cut.
At 4:38 p.m., a resident of the 600 block of Cherry Avenue reported an identical theft from a Toyota, and at 5:04 p.m., a resident in the 400 block of San Gabriel Drive reported that their Toyota was now missing its catalytic converter.
At least two city residents reported that their vehicles had been vandalized. At about 10 a.m. Monday, a resident in the 1100 block of Fryer Creek Drive told city police that, at around 9:30 p.m. the evening before, her dog started barking but that it wasn't an unusual occurrence. But at about 10 p.m., she heard the sound of something metal hiting the ground, heard doors slam and a vehicle leave the area at a high rate of speed. The morning of May 9 she found that somebody had removed the catalytic converter from her 1984 Toyota Land Cruiser.
At about 6:30 p.m. Monday, a resident in the 800 block of First Street West reported that he too had been victimized. He told deputies that a neighbor knocked on his door after noticing nuts and bolts on the street by the man's 1994 Toyota 4Runner.
And on May 10, a resident of the 19000 block of Willow Street in El Verano went to the Valley substation to report that sometime overnight between May 8 and May 9, someone took the converter from his 1996 Toyota 4Runner that was parked on the street.
Sgt. Mike Raasch, with the Sheriff's Property Crimes Unit, said that the converters, which contain platinum, palladium and rhodium can fetch $40 to $80 on the scrap metal market.