Police arrest thieves for stealing catalytic converters in Sea-Tac garage

SEA-TAC, Wash. — Drivers continue to have catalytic converters stolen from their cars, including in the parking garage at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.

Port of Seattle Police report at least 175 catalytic converter thefts from the airport garage in 2021.

The most targeted car is the Toyota Prius, which has a lot of the precious metal thieves are seeking.

The thefts in the airport garage have happened in a matter of minutes.

“You’ll have one individual jacking up the car and two individuals cutting out the catalytic converter,” said port police Sgt. Darrin Benko.

To combat the thefts, port police recently deployed a Prius as a bait car.

“If the suspect is to jack up the Prius or manipulate it, it creates an alarm that goes directly to our communications,” Benko said.

That’s happened twice in the past month, resulting in four arrests and the identification of a couple more suspects.

Port police say they obtained admissions of thirty catalytic converter thefts in the airport garage.

Police suggest drivers pick a well-lit area to park and say people who notice anything suspicious while walking through the airport garage should report it right away.

A KIRO 7 investigation earlier this year showed catalytic converter thefts are widespread.