KENT, Wash. — Nearly 800 catalytic converters were recovered by the Kent Police Department (KPD) following a lengthy investigation into rampant thefts throughout the region.
Multiple suspects were arrested in relation to the investigation, and around $40,000 in cash was also recovered, according to KPD.
Catalytic converter theft has become widespread across the Puget Sound. In Kent, there were five reported catalytic converter thefts in all of 2019. Since January of 2020, there have been 4,000 incidents reported regionally.
The device, about two feet long, removes pollutants from a vehicle’s exhaust. It contains precious metals like palladium and rhodium, which are more valuable than gold. Replacing a missing catalytic converter can cost anywhere from $2,000 to $5,000.
In order to prevent catalytic converter theft, Kent police suggest car owners stay up to date on whether or not they could potentially be a target. Toyota Priuses, trucks and SUVs are especially attractive to thieves.
Police suggest car owners keep their cars in their garages if possible. Installing catalytic converter anti-theft devices could also help.
Etching a vehicle's identification number onto the converter can also help police return it should it ever be found.