East County Sheriff Watch Alert Re: Catalytic Converter Thefts

Here is the latest "East County Sheriff Watch" alert from the Ventura County Sheriff's Department. This program is designed to target unincorporated neighborhoods in the area, such as Oak Park, Bell Canyon, Lynn Ranch, Casa Conejo and Lake Sherwood. If you would like these updates directly from him via email, click here for more information.

A catalytic converter is part of the emission system on a vehicle.  It is located underneath, near the muffler.  Over the last month, there have been several thefts of catalytic converters in the Thousand Oaks area.   Thieves have primarily targeted Toyota trucks and Toyota SUV type vehicles.  These thefts have occurred in both residential and business areas, during the late night to early morning hours. 

The unincorporated area has also been affected by this trend.  During the early morning hours of 5/26/12, thieves stole a catalytic converter from a vehicle in the Casa Conejo neighborhood of Newbury Park.  

Be aware that it only takes minutes for this type of theft to occur.  It is possible the thieves work in pairs, having one act as the look out.  Investigators believe the catalytic converters are most likely being sold to recycling centers.

Crime Prevention Tips

Park your vehicle in the garage.  If your car is going to be parked for an extended period of time, for instance at a shopping center or commuter transit parking lot, park your car in a well-lit area.  Also, try to park near the entrance of the building or near an access road that is heavily traveled. 

Crime Stoppers

Ventura County Crime Stoppers will pay up to $1,000 reward for information, which leads to the arrest and criminal complaint against the person(s) responsible for crimes.  The caller may remain anonymous.  The call is not recorded.  Call Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS (8477).