Catalytic converters stolen from Atascadero car lot

September 12, 2020


A thief targeted a car lot in Atascadero last weekend, cutting off catalytic converters from eight cars.

On Sept. 5, an employee arrived at Modern Fleet Liquidation on Ramona Road and began starting each vehicle. The employee noticed the cars were unusually loud and called his boss

A check of the vehicles, and a blade left at the lot, showed how the thief cut out the catalytic converters.

Thieves are traveling along state highways and removing catalytic converters, which are either sold as replacements or for scrap metal.

In 2008, the state of California banned the sale of used converters, and a black market industry was born.

Management at the Atascadero car lot estimates it will cost between $10,000 to $13,000 to replace the converters.

The lot carries their own contracts, and because of the coronavirus, people are not making their payments and business is down.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

The reason cats are so expensive in California is that CARB and BAR have required all aftermarket catalytic converters have a E.O. number on them (Executive Order) which CARB and BAR use the pay to play scheme .

A 49 state legal catalytic Conv. cost between 49.00 and maybe 500.00 , so as we notice California emission laws created a black market for California legal only cats .Even though the 49 state cats do the same job as Ca cats scrubbing the exhaust pollutants .

Same goes with most other auto parts sold in California.

Air Bag black market has been a big money industry along with crash computers and vehicle computers after 2010 year model ….Alot unproffessional vehicle flippers remove the exploded air bags and just install new interior cover over missing air bags then they install resistors and or reprogram vehicle computer to not know air bags are missing … Poor unsuspecting buyer gets into accident no air bags deploy ….because they are not there

Smells like an inside job.

Follow the insurance payments… hmmm…

If the catalytic converters were stolen from hybrid vehicles could get up to say 7500.00 to 8000.00 for both vehicles …. A V8 equipped import vehicle 8000.00 to 14000.00 for 2 vehicles plus sometimes the thieves remove the exhaust sensors with the cat and destroy wiring also the sensors are not cheap .

The newer the vehicle the more likely cats and sensors only available from manufacture dealership

That $10-12K is for insurance purposes. The real cost will be a f action of that. Either way, it’s too bad

I think it’s undervalued when you consider the price of “new” converters. $1000+ a pop is not the least bit unusual.

The citizens of this state are completely overwhelmed and hogtied by the unintended (or maybe even ‘INtended’) consequences that our progressive leadership has forced upon us with their poorly thought out legislation.

I wouldn’t be so sure. California has their own specific requirements for catalytic converters, and these literally contain precious metals like platinum and palladium. Factor in labor to the parts cost and it ain’t cheap. People in CA often sell their cars when they can’t smog because of the catalytic converter replacement costs into the thousands. But we’re gonna save the earth! And be broke.

I agree. My son just had his stolen off his car and it cost about $2k. Not cheap!