The Cloverdale Police Department (CPD) issued a statement Wednesday night, Jan. 6, warning residents about people who have been stealing catalytic converters from vehicles.
Catalytic converter thefts have been increasing across the Bay Area for years, and have started increasing in Sonoma County over the past year — Cloverdale is no different.
According to Cloverdale police logs, someone on West Second Street called to report a theft of a catalytic converter.
“Recently we have experienced catalytic converter thefts right here in Cloverdale,” the CPD said in a statement on Facebook. “The crooks target the Toyota Prius more than other vehicles, but will steal them from any vehicle. The converter is a part of the vehicle's exhaust system that converts toxic emissions into less-toxic emissions. The devices have precious metals inside to include platinum, palladium, nickel, etc. The metals can be extracted from the converter and recycled. These are very expensive devices to replace on your car. Within the past two days the theft of a catalytic converter took place from a Prius belonging to one of our citizens. A camera caught a glimpse of what was described as two Hispanic males in a black SUV-type vehicle likely related to the crime.”
Also in north county, the Healdsburg Police Department were alerted to a catalytic converter theft in progress in the early hours of Jan. 5, which led to a pursuit, a damaged patrol car and an abandoned vehicle after the theft suspect fled the scene and led Healdsburg police on a chase through the city. After the suspect abandoned their vehicle, the catalytic converter was found in the vehicle and recovered.
In December, Sonoma West Times & News reported on an increase in catalytic converter thefts in Sebastopol, which saw a dozen thefts between June and December.
According to Cloverdale police, the thefts typically take place in the early morning to pre-daylight hours. The CPD announcement noted that both residential neighborhoods and Park and Ride lots are common targets for catalytic thefts.