Catalytic Converter theft in Elysian Valley – please help report suspicious vehicles on your street

Dear Neighbor:

I received word from Hector this evening that his vehicle catalytic converter was stolen this past Saturday.  His vehicle (white) was parked out in front of his home on Birkdale St.  The perpetrators, were in what appears to be a “dark green” SUV parked alongside with a luggage rack on top.  The theft occurred at 9 am and was captured by his surveillance camera.  The theft occurred in a span of one minute.  A police report was filed.   Please remain vigilant for any suspicious activity at or near your vehicle and report same to 911 without hesitation.   Anyone with information is asked to contact our Senior Lead Officer (Gina Chovan) at 213.793.0760 –


Following are some helpful tips to keep you from being a victim of this crime.

Thieves target the catalytic converters for the scrap value of the precious metals contained in the unit. The metals are platinum, palladium or rhodium. Thieves usually get about 100-150 dollars per unit as scrap. You will know when your converter is stolen when you start your vehicle and a very loud roar is heard.  Thieves usually target trucks and SUVs because they are higher up from the ground and have better access.  They usually use a battery-powered reciprocating saw to make two cuts and off they go. The usual amount of time is less than a minute to complete the crime.  To help prevent these thefts and assist with identifying the suspects:

  • If you see someone under a vehicle, look for the saw, other vehicles waiting with getaway driver and write down plate numbers for the police. Do not confront the suspects.
  • Etch your license plate number on your catalytic converter.
  • Purchase a security system that can be set to activate at the slightest motion of your vehicle.
  • Always park in well-lit areas.
  • If you observe suspicious activity, contact the police immediately by calling 911 or 877-LAPD247.Obtain a description of the suspect(s) physical appearance, actions and any vehicle descriptions including license plate numbers.  IF YOU HAVE ADDITIONAL QUESTIONS OR CAN PROVIDE ANY INFORMATION ABOUT THE ABOVE CRIMES,PLEASE CONTACT NORTH EAST POLICE DEPT. 213.793.0760 – – SLO  Gina Chovan
 – Northeast Police Dept. (San Fernando Rd.) 323.344.5708

·         911 – All Emergencies
·         213.793.0760 – – SLO  Gina Chovan
·         323..344.5754 or 323.344.5726 – Gang Unit
·         323.344.5739 – Vice Unit
·         213.847.9722 – Narcotics Unit
·         323.344.5712 – Community Relations