ELK GROVE (CBS13) — A massive cache of stolen catalytic converters was uncovered in Elk Grove recently, authorities say.
The Sacramento County Sheriff’s Office announced the bust on Tuesday, saying that deputies had executed a search warrant in connection to theft and sales of catalytic converters in a business area in Elk Grove and uncovered the cache.
“This is huge because at this point wherever the money and parts were located obviously there are going to people that are tied to those locations. With surveillance we can hopefully keep working this investigation and find out what type of people were involved,” said Deputy Zaheem Buksh.
About 2,000 catalytic converters were recovered, deputies say. About $300,000 in cash was also seized. In the last two years, Buksh said the department has seen an increase in the stolen car part.
“As long as I have been a cop, I haven’t seen this many located in one location. Hopefully, once we start processing the evidence, maybe we can find some identifying marks to specify where these catalytic converters came from,” he said.
Loyal Towing said about 25 percent of their business comes from customers who have been victimized.
“At least twice a day we are being called out, we are for sure going to get catalytic converters. Some days we will get six, seven of them,” explained owner, Moe Abdo.
The car part can cost their customers anywhere from $900 to $2,500 to replace. Adbo said most of the calls they are getting are related to Toyota Prius. Thieves take the converters for the precious metals inside and sell them for cash.
“Prius contain more materials inside that catalytic converter than any other vehicles and they are so quick to take them,” he explained.
Buksh said there are ways to protect your car from being targeted by etching a VIN number on the converter and placing a metal casing around it to protect the part.
Deputies are still looking for the suspect or suspects involved. They are not sure how many people may be involved. Deputies are investigating when the parts were stolen. If you have been a victim, deputies want to hear from you to see if the cases are connected.