Roseville Police Department1051 Junction Blvd.
Roseville, CA 95678


Subject :

Some metal recyclers got a coal in their stocking
Contact :Sgt. Cal Walstad, Community Sevices Sergeant    (916)774-5052
Roseville Police Department's Crime Suppression Unit officers are investigating several scrap metal dealers in the region who are buying large quantities of crudely sawed-off catalytic converters, copper wire and other obviously stolen metal items in violation of the law.

Working to stop a recent epidemic of catalytic converter thefts in Roseville, Crime Suppression officers investigated a Roseville resident who was advertising online that she would buy scrap metal, catalytic converters, and other types of metal. After an undercover operation, officers cited her for not having a City business license, and later arrested her for possession of stolen property. This week, officers visited metal recyclers in the area, and found some operating in violation of  the state laws regulating the metal recycling trade.  Some weren't properly identifying and documenting information about their metal sellers as required by state law, and were paying sellers immediately in cash, rather than holding the cash for three days or mailing  them a check as required by law.  Officers observed catalytic converters in the scrap yards that appeared to have been sawn off.  Two scrap metal dealers in Rio Linda and North Highlands were arrested and booked into the Sacramento County Jail for violations of the California Business and Professions Code.  The investigation is continuing, and there may be additional arrests.

The Roseville Police Department has received 65 reports of stolen catalytic converters since the beginning of November, and other costly thefts of copper wire, copper tubing, and car batteries.  These thefts are costing our community thousands upon thousands of dollars.  Catalytic converter thieves usually target Toyota pickups and SUVs.   Each theft costs car owners from $500 to $1,000 to replace the part and repair the damage. Most of the thefts are happening in residential neighborhoods at night, although thefts have also been reported in the daytime in retail parking lots, in school parking lots during school hours, and in church parking lots during church services. 

State law has strict requirements for metal recyclers to prevent them from purchasing stolen metal.  They're required to keep extensive records on metal sellers, including their name, address,  a photocopy of their driver's license or other government-issued ID, their vehicle make and license number, dates of sale, and detailed information, including photographs or video of the items purchased; and dealers are required to maintain those records for two years.   Dealers are also required to either hold cash payments to sellers for three days, or mail a check to the seller's business.   There are additional documentation requirements for catalytic converter transactions.

The Roseville Police Department is committed to not only catching the thieves, but also stopping the unscrupulous scrap metal dealers who are creating a market for stolen metal.