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Jay Leno slams LA’s soft on crime after General Hospital star shot dead by catalytic converter thieves

  • Jay Leno calls light penalty for criminals stealing converters ‘scandalous’
  • The comic told TMZ it was a “slap on the wrist,” which is why thieves are so bold

Legendary comedian and avid car collector Jay Leno has criticized crime in Los Angeles after General Hospital star Johnny Wactor was gunned down last week by a gang of catalytic converter thieves.

Wactor, 37, was quit a secondary job at a rooftop bar on May 25 with a co-worker around 3:25 a.m. in downtown Los Angeles when he was confronted by three men who tried to steal his catalytic converter from his car.

The thugs shot the soap opera star before fleeing in another vehicle. The masked suspects remain at large and have not yet been identified or described.

Leno told TMZ that the small penalty for stealing catalytic converters — a misdemeanor charge and a fine of up to $1,000 — was “outrageous,” and called it a “slap on the wrist,” s ‘they are caught, and the reason thieves are so caught. bold.

Jay Leno told TMZ that converter theft offenders would face minor penalties - a misdemeanor charge and a fine of up to $1,000,

Jay Leno told TMZ that converter theft perpetrators would face minor penalties – a misdemeanor charge and a fine of up to $1,000, “outrageous.”

Johnny Wactor, 37, a veteran of the soap opera General Hospital, was leaving a side job at a rooftop bar on May 25 with a co-worker when he confronted three men, who he initially thought were towing his car, and was shot and killed .

Johnny Wactor, 37, a veteran of the soap opera General Hospital, was leaving a side job at a rooftop bar on May 25 with a co-worker when he confronted three men, who he initially thought were towing his car, and was shot and killed .

Catalytic converters are a valuable commodity for thieves because they contain valuable metals, including: rhodium, palladium and platinum.

For a standard catalytic converter, thieves can make between $25 and $300, and up to $1,400 with hybrid vehicles, experts say, according to Carfax.

The soap opera star’s car was a Toyota Prius, one of the most targeted cars for catalytic converter thefts, NBC News reported.

In California, converter theft is considered a misdemeanor if the value of the converter, or any stolen property, is less than $950 – which is why some cars are targeted.

A van seized by the police and filled with catalyst

A van seized by the police and filled with catalyst

Image of a close-up of a catalytic converter in a car exhaust system

Image of a close-up of a catalytic converter in a car exhaust system

It is illegal to drive without a catalytic converter, and while it may increase performance slightly, it can cause engine problems and is generally not advised, according to AutoZone.

Leno also explained that car owners who remove their own converter face a hefty fine.

According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau, California is the state with the highest number of catalytic converter thefts. Texas comes in second.

Last year, nearly 15,000 catalytic converters were stolen in the state, according to NBC.

According to Carfax, the Ford F-150, Ford Explore, Honda Accord, Toyota Prius, Honda CR-V, Chevrolet Equinox, Toyota Tacoma, Kia Soul, Chevrolet Traverse and Chevrolet Cruze are the vehicles most targeted for converter theft.

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