28 arrested, 112 catalytic converters seized in illegal car parts operation in Inland Empire

A truck bed filled with catalytic converters seized from Inland Empire businesses.
Authorities seized 112 catalytic converters across the Inland Empire.
(San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department)

Authorities arrested 28 people and confiscated 112 catalytic converters in a sweeping investigation of an illegal car parts operation in the Inland Empire, San Bernardino County sheriff’s officials said.

Multiple law enforcement agencies participated in the investigation, which included 64 automotive repair shops and recycling facilities in Chino Hills, Chino, Upland, Montclair, Ontario, Fontana and unincorporated areas of San Bernardino County, officials said.

Catalytic converters are a common target of theft, as they contain small amounts of precious metals that reduce a vehicle’s toxic emissions and can be sold to auto supply shops, scrapyards and recycling operations for hundreds of dollars, according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau.


At the same time, repair and replacement of the converters can cost car owners as much at $4,000, according to the California Bureau of Automotive Repair.

“These thefts victimize innocent members of our communities and cause financial hardships,” the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department said in a statement.

“We will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to combat these crimes at every level, and hold the offenders responsible.”

Multiple law enforcement agencies participated in the investigation that included 64 different automotive repair shops and recycling facilities.