Catalytic converter thefts up compared to 2020, EPS says

EDMONTON –

Theft of catalytic converters in Edmonton has already surpassed 2020 numbers.

“It’s a crime of opportunity,” Edmonton Police Service Det. Daniel Leach said in a release on Monday.

According to EPS, 1,626 thefts of the exhaust emission control devices were reported to police in 2020. In the first three quarters of 2021, 1,701 catalytic converter thefts have already been documented.

An experienced thief needs only five to 10 minutes to cut off and steal a converter, the release read.

“Your vehicle can be a target for thieves almost anywhere you park,” Leach explained.

“Thieves are often stealing the converters and exchanging them to ‘middle men’ for drugs or money.”

In November of last year, new provisions were implemented to the Protecting Alberta Industry from Theft Act to make it more difficult for criminals to sell stolen metal for scrap, according to police.

“The vehicle exhaust repairs associated with replacing catalytic converters are costing Edmonton citizens and insurance companies millions of dollars every year,” Leach said.

To protect your vehicle from a catalytic converter theft, EPS has a few suggestions:

  • Avoid parking your vehicle in places where thieves can discreetly crawl underneath
  • Engrave the converter with your VIN number
  • Have the converter welded onto the vehicle
  • Invest in a special clamp or cage for the converter
  • Invest in a car alarm that is sensitive to the vibration of the converter being sawed off  

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