Suspected El Dorado catalytic converter thieves arrested
El Dorado County deputies arrested two people on suspicion of grand theft and possession of burglary tools after reportedly finding items linked to catalytic converter thefts in a vehicle during a traffic stop Jan. 13.
Deputies pulled over the vehicle in the area of Cameron Park Drive and Highway 50 and a search reportedly yielded several catalytic converters believed to be stolen and the tools to remove them. The two arrestees are from Sacramento County and on searchable probation, a sheriff’s office Facebook post notes.
“While two suspects were arrested, detectives believe there are many more individuals involved,” the post continues.
Last month sheriff’s officials issued a warning to residents, especially owners of a Toyota Prius or Honda Accord, as catalytic converter thefts were on the rise and heavily concentrated in El Dorado Hills and Cameron Park. Deputies responded to more than 60 reports of catalytic converter thefts in 2020, with 32 of them involving a Prius or Accord, officials warned in a public Facebook post.
“Catalytic converters contain precious and valuable metals such as platinum and palladium and are generally easy to steal,” the warning states. “Just a minute or so under your car to cut out your converter can result in significant gains for a thief.”
Toyota Priuses and Honda Accords are especially popular, as their catalytic converters tend to be worth more to thieves, according to officials. Replacing a stolen catalytic converter can cost $2,500 to $3,000.
Steps car owners can take to prevent a catalytic converter theft include always park in a well-lit area; park within a fenced area that is secured at night; engrave your license plate number or your VIN on your catalytic converter; park your vehicle in view of a camera surveillance system; have your catalytic converter secured to your vehicle frame; park in a secured garage, close to building entrances or nearest the road in a public lot and be aware of and report any suspicious persons loitering near or under parked vehicles
Victims of recent catalytic converter thefts or anyone who sees suspicious activity is asked to call EDSO Dispatch at 530-621-6600.
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SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — Free sandbags are available to El Dorado County residents in the Lake Tahoe Basin.