This past week, there has been a rash of thefts of catalytic converters in the Goleta Valley. Several of the thefts occurred on Monday night or early Tuesday morning.

The thefts were in the following areas: 300 block of Valdez; Armitos at Kellogg; 5200 block of San Simeon; 700 block of Walnut Lane; 6100 block of Stow Canyon; 6200 block of Momouth; 5000 block of Douglas; and 500 block of Amherst.

The vehicles targeted were Ford trucks, a Chevrolet truck and a Honda Element. The thefts are similar to crimes recently reported by Ventura Police Department and Oxnard Police, where Ford F250 trucks and Honda Elements were also targeted.

The theft of catalytic converters is popular because they can be easily removed, they do not have identifying marks like serial numbers, and the components are made up of precious metals that can be resold to recyclers.

There are steps that can be taken to thwart such thefts includin parking inside a garage or secured yard; installing motion-detector lights near parking areas; installing a catalytic converter-protection device; and educating neighbors to be on the lookout for thieves.

The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office is interested in any videos that may have captured these thefts. The Sheriff’s Office also urges residents to call dispatch immediately if they see suspicious individuals around or underneath vehicles.

Sheriff’s dispatch can be reached at 805-683-2724 for non-emergency calls, 911 for emergencies, or leave an anonymous tip at