DOJ announces takedown of nationwide multi-million dollar catalytic converter theft ring

Karina Nova Image
Monday, November 7, 2022
DOJ announces takedown of nationwide catalytic converter theft ring
EMBED <>More Videos

The Department of Justice announced on Wednesday the takedown of a nationwide multi-million dollar catalytic converter theft ring.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- The Department of Justice announced on Wednesday the takedown of a nationwide multi-million dollar catalytic converter theft ring.

The bust stretches across the country with more than $500 million in fraudulent sales, arrests, searches and seizures in California and also in Oklahoma, Wyoming, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Nevada, North Carolina and Virginia.

21 people were charged and 32 search warrants were executed.

Investigators also found a connection between a fraudulent business in Sacramento all the way to New Jersey.

MORE: New California laws make it harder to steal and sell catalytic converters

This video shows the home where law enforcement showed up in New Jersey.

According to court documents, three people out of Sacramento allegedly operated an unlicensed business, buying stolen catalytic converters from local thieves and shipping them to New Jersey for processing. That accounted for more than $38 million in sales alone.

A U.S. attorney says because of California's higher emission standards, car owners are a target for catalytic converter theft.

They can be stolen in less than a minute and sold on the black market for more than $1,000.

MORE: San Francisco officer hit, injured by car during catalytic converter theft investigation, police say

Last year, there were approximately 1,600 catalytic converters reported stolen in California each month.

Dozens of agencies contributed to this massive investigation, including Oakland IRS, Livermore police, Sacramento Sheriff and Davis police.

If you're on the ABC7 News app, click here to watch live