Campbell Man Charged with Possessing Millions Worth of Stolen Catalytic Converters

For release on December 13, 2021

CONTACT:

Erin West
Deputy District Attorney
Crime Strategies Unit
[email protected]

 

Campbell Man Charged with Possessing Millions Worth of Stolen Catalytic Converters

A collection of stolen Catalytic Converters.

A Campbell recycler has been charged with possessing about $3 million worth of stolen catalytic converters, the illegal stockpile of an expensive theft epidemic that is sweeping the country.

Robert Frank, 52, the owner of Green Metal Recycling, was identified and arrested during a six-month San Jose Police Department investigation called “Cat Scratch Thiever.” The coordinated operation led to charges against more than a dozen suspected catalytic converter thieves and resulted in the recovery of hundreds of stolen catalytic converters

Frank is scheduled to be arraigned on January 13, 2022, at 1:30 in Department 23 of the Hall of Justice in San Jose. He faces incarceration.

“This crime is causing car owners and sellers to spend hard-earned money to replace parts and protect their cars,” DA Jeff Rosen said. “We won’t stand by and let thieves profit by stripping your car in its parking space.” 

The SJPD Burglary Prevention Unit worked closely with the District Attorney’s Office to identify and apprehend thieves and individuals profiting from the theft of these valuable auto parts. To date, 14 people have been charged with crimes ranging from theft to gun possession.

After identifying Frank as a suspected “fence,” officers searched Frank’s business and home.

They found an assault rifle, 1,200 armor piercing bullets, $50,000 in cash and bin after bin of more than 1,500 stolen catalytic converters.

Catalytic converters reduce the amount of pollution coming out of a vehicle. There are several precious, valuable metals used within the devices, which are targeted by thieves. It can take less than two minutes for thieves armed with mini electric saws to chop converters from the undercarriages of certain cars. The thieves then sell the stolen goods to a “fence” or middleman for between $200 to $2,000 apiece. 

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