LOS ANGELES – Three suspected catalytic converter thieves evaded Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies during a high-speed chase up to the Santa Clarita Valley early Saturday morning, but were brought into custody after they crashed into a deputy involved in an unrelated pursuit.
The suspects were caught on a security camera targeting homes in the middle of the night and stealing catalytic converters. The homeowner did not want to be identified but said it appeared four men were involved, including two lookout drivers.
Sheriff’s deputies eventually located a minivan believed to be connected to the catalytic converter thefts that was driving on the 5 Freeway in Valencia. Authorities pursued the driver but the chase was called off after the driver took off at dangerous speeds.
A short time later, deputies responded to a call from Burbank police regarding a suspected stolen vehicle and another pursuit began on the 5 Freeway, this time in Newhall. The call was unrelated to the catalytic converter thefts, LASD said.
While assisting Burbank police, a crash occurred involving a sheriff’s deputy vehicle and the suspects from the earlier pursuit. Inside the suspects’ vehicle, officers said they found at least eight catalytic converters.
All three of the suspects were taken to a local hospital along with the deputy involved in the crash, but no serious injuries were reported by authorities.
Authorities encourage residents to do what they can to prevent catalytic converter thefts. Some steps you can take include getting your catalytic converter etched, installing cameras on your property, and parking in well-lit areas or in a garage if possible.