Edmonds police report increasing number of catalytic converter thefts

Catalytic converter thefts have been increasing throughout the Puget Sound region, and Edmonds is no exception.

Edmonds police say they have received reports of multiple thefts since Nov. 30, primarily along 5th Avenue South but also in the Westgate and Point Edwards areas.

A “loud” vehicle has also been reported at the time of some thefts, Edmonds police spokesperson Sgt. Josh McClure said.

Police on Thursday posted to its social media accounts a video — which we’ve included above — on the topic, with tips for car owners.

Thieves sell catalytic converters to scrap metal dealers. (Wikipedia photo)

The catalytic converter was mandated for all U.S. cars and trucks in 1975. They convert harmful pollutants into less harmful emissions before they leave the exhaust system. Since precious metals such as platinum, palladium, rhodium or gold are used as the catalyst, they are a target for thieves. Depending on which metal was used, thieves can sell the converters to metal recyclers, who can extract the metal and resell it.

The vehicle of choice is often a Toyota Prius, but it can be stolen from any car. If the catalytic converter is underneath the car, thieves can slide under it and simply cut it off.

It can cost between $2,000 and $4,000 to have a converter replaced.

Tips from police include:

  • Call 911 for any suspicious vehicles or people in your neighborhood.
  • Be aware of people who may be acting as a lookout.
  • Suspects will often say they are working on their car, but police note that using a saw of any type is not normal car behavior.
  • Make sure your home surveillance system is working.


  1. I was one of these victims early yesterday morning, a middle-of-the-night hit on my older Prius. Thank you Teresa for publicizing this issue.

    I learned today there are metal shields that can be installed over catalytic converters, making them theft-resistant. A good investment of $200-300 for those who want to avoid this problem.

    1. Hi where can I have this type of cover installed? Do you know if we can find the metal cover at any mechanic or where did you find yours? Our mechanic is Ethiopian and is not aware of the cover and where to but it. I’m

      Thank you very much,

      Abbie White

      1. Abbie, we park in an open parking lot. I’m having my catalytic converter replaced by Dan Fast Muffler Shop up on 99. I haven’t talked to them yet about adding he cover, but I will do so tomorrow. They have replaced 100 or more Prius converters so I’m sure they are familiar with the covers.

  2. I will comment that if replacing an exhaust catback (Everything behind the catalyst for whatever reason) you will cut off the existing catback at a certain point in the piping, at least on my car (VW Golf GTI).

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