Men brandish gun while taking catalytic converter in Berkeley

The incident took place around 3:50 a.m. on Regal Road near Marin Avenue.

Men brandish gun while taking catalytic converter in Berkeley
Berkeley police say more criminals are using armed lookouts and have warned residents not to engage with them. Google Maps

Two men stealing a catalytic converter in the Berkeley Hills early Wednesday morning pointed a gun at a resident who interrupted them, authorities report.

The incident took place around 3:50 a.m. in the 900 block of Regal Road near Marin Avenue, Berkeley police said in response to a Scanner inquiry.

The caller told police the pair pointed a gun at him when he confronted them.

The men, who were wearing dark clothing, fled in a gray sedan, police said.

The case remains under investigation.

Read more about crime in Berkeley.

Last week, Berkeley police warned that more "auto burglars, car thieves and catalytic converter thieves use security lookouts who are armed with guns."

BPD said community members should "call the police instead of engaging with suspects."

Catalytic converter thefts have been on the decline in Berkeley, dropping from a high of 847 in 2022 to 457 last year, the lowest number since these thefts jumped from fewer than 200 in 2019 to nearly 600 in 2020.

Dropping metal prices, new legislation and stepped-up enforcement have contributed to the reduction, according to media reports.

There have been about 70 catalytic converter thefts in Berkeley this year, according to department data.

Read more about public safety in the Berkeley Hills and other Berkeley neighborhoods.