Catalytic converter theft in Oakland caught on video

It took thieves less than two minutes in Oakland to steal a catalytic converter from a parked car.

The crime was captured on surveillance video and shared with KTVU.

The video shows the suspects pulling up to a white car, lifting it up, and using tools to steal the catalytic converter near 63rd and Market in north Oakland.

The car owner told KTVU she heard the thieves outside but didn't realize what was happening. 

Last fall, the Associated Press reported that the number of catalytic converter theft claims dropped in the first half of 2023, the first time that’s happened since 2019, according to data from insurance company State Farm.

Thefts of catalytic converters have become problematic nationwide in recent years. Once stolen, they are often melted down for their valuable metals.

State Farm said that there were approximately 14,500 claims from Jan. 1 through June 30. That compares with more than 23,000 catalytic converter theft claims during the same period a year ago.

State Farm attributes the decline to several factors, including media coverage of the issue, more legislative efforts and declining metal prices.

Anecdotally, these thefts may be on the rise again. A mechanic in Berkeley last week said that six Priuses were brought in on one day last week, all to have catalytic converters replaced after they were stolen.