The Kent Police Detective Unit recently made multiple arrests, recovered almost 800 catalytic converters & seized about $40,000 in cash following a lengthy investigation into the wave of thefts that has plagued our region.

Police say that Kent – along with most cities in south King County – have seen a dramatic increase in the number of catalytic converter thefts. In Kent, the number of cases rose from 5 in 2019 to 167 in the first five months of 2021. With an average repair cost of $2000 to $5000 per vehicle, this has become a significant issue with over 4000 incidents reported regionally since January of 2020.

Kent Detectives stated that the suspects in custody have been travelling to the King County area from out of state and are purchasing stolen catalytic converters from local criminals off the street.

“We want to recognize the diligence and excellent investigation skills of our Detective unit as they patiently waded through stacks of documents, interviewed countless witnesses, and processed piles of evidence to capture these prolific regional thieves. Well done Detectives!”

Here are some tips to help you protect your catalytic converter:

    • Know if you’re a target — Toyota Priuses, trucks and SUVs, which are easier for thieves to slide under, are popular targets.
    • Secure your vehicle in a locked garage. Set motion-sensitive lights and park in your driveway or in a brightly lit area in front of your home if you don’t have a garage.
    • Install a catalytic converter anti-theft device. Your mechanic or a search of the internet can show you what devices are available, costs and installation requirements.
    • Paint your catalytic converter with a high temperature fluorescent paint and etch your vehicle’s identification number on the painted surface. This makes it traceable and more easily identifiable.

Photos courtesy Kent Police Department

Scott Schaefer

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