Oakland resident warns others after string of catalytic converter thefts

Bay Area

An Oakland resident is warning other drivers that a specific car part has been stolen from his SUV three times now in just a few weeks.

He says it happened twice at the Fruitvale BART station parking structure, and that the thieves are targeting specific cars. 

“I started the car. It made all this noise. It had no exhaust. So I looked underneath and sure enough, it was taken again,” said Anthony Scuderi, theft victim.

Scuderi was met with a roaring sound from his 2005 Honda Element after his catalytic converter was stolen three times. 

The car part is an exhaust emission control device that a former police officer tells KRON4 News is attractive to thieves because it’s made with platinum. 

The first two times the part was sawed off at the Fruitvale BART station parking lot. 

Then it happened again at the Home Depot parking lot on Friday around 1:30 p.m. while Scuderi was shopping. 

Scuderi is specifically warning owners of SUVs because it’s high off the ground and easily accessible to thieves. 

“Honda Element owners specifically. I think be wary of the fact that this is.. if it hasn’t happened to you before it may happen to you, just be cautious, and know that this is a possibility it happened to me three times in a two month period. I mean it could definitely happen to anybody,” he said. 

Oakland police didn’t respond to questions Monday about how common of a problem this may be. 

Scuderi says his family is now inconvenienced as they’re one car short to get their newborn to daycare. 

The family says the piece and labor cost them around $3,000 but they were fortunate enough to have insurance cover it the first two times. 

They’re just now worried about the third.

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