Catalytic converter crime ring "taken down" with 21 arrests

The Justice Department writes that it has taken down a crime ring specializing in stealing catalytic converters. It started at the metal plant where it all gets sent, in New Jersey, then worked its way back to "thieves, dealers and processors" in California and Oklahoma.

"With California's higher emission standards, our community has become a hot bed for catalytic converter theft," said U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert for the Eastern District of California. "Last year approximately 1,600 catalytic converters were reportedly stolen in California each month, and California accounts for 37% of all catalytic converter theft claims nationwide. I am proud to announce that we have indicted nine people who are at the core of catalytic theft in our community and nationwide."

"In Tulsa alone, more than 2,000 catalytic converters were stolen in the past year," said U.S. Attorney Clint Johnson for the Northern District of Oklahoma. "Organized criminal activity, including the large-scale theft of catalytic converters, is costly to victims and too often places citizens and law enforcement in danger. The collective work conducted by federal prosecutors and more than 10 different law enforcement agencies led to the filing of charges in the Northern District of Oklahoma against 13 defendants operating an alleged catalytic converter theft operation."

The video below offers a nice example of competent thieves at work, using the right tools for the job (as opposed to the typical viral videos of meth addicts with their screaming Harbor Freight angle grinders). Takes the pros about 60 seconds.