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Palo Alto Police Department
Tuesday November 28th, 2023 :: 07:53 a.m. PST


News Release: Armed Robbery of a Catalytic Converter Occurs Early This Morning

A suspect pointed a handgun at a vehicle owner who had interrupted his partner while sawing the catalytic converter off a parked vehicle just before 4 a.m. today. The victim was not physically injured, and both suspects are at large.
On Tuesday, November 28, 2023, at about 3:57 a.m., our 24-hour dispatch center received a call from a resident in the 1500 block of Louisa Court reporting an in-progress armed robbery.  Officers responded immediately, but the suspects had fled in a vehicle.
The investigation revealed that a resident in her thirties had heard a vehicle pull up in front of her home, and then heard a sawing noise.  She alerted her father, a man in his seventies.  The father looked outside, figured the suspects were attempting to steal the catalytic converter from their 2009 Toyota Prius, and went outside to interrupt the theft.
When the victim confronted the suspects, one of them pointed a silver handgun at him and threatened multiple times to shoot him. The other suspect, who was under the car, continued to saw off the catalytic converter.  The victim yelled to his daughter to call the police, and then went back inside.  The two suspects fled the scene in a black four-door sedan.  The victim described both suspects as muscular men of unknown race and age, about 5 feet 8 inches tall.  The victim said they were wearing masks.
Detectives are actively investigating this case and looking for any available video evidence.  Catalytic converter theft is a common crime throughout California.  The state legislature recently enacted laws that went into effect this year that are designed to reduce or eliminate the black market that is the root cause of catalytic converter theft (the reselling of stolen catalytic converters, which contain metal that can fetch a high price).
Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call our 24-hour dispatch center at (650) 329-2413.  Anonymous tips can be e-mailed to [email protected] or sent via text message or voice mail to (650) 383-8984.

Palo Alto Police Department
275 Forest Avenue
Palo Alto, CA 94301

Emergency: 9-1-1
Non-emergencies: 650-329-2406

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