A Calgary driver is warning others after her catalytic converter was stolen while her vehicle was at an auto centre being serviced for another issue.
Bonnie DeNittis initially took her vehicle to the TD Insurance Auto Centre, Hopewell in NE Calgary on Sept. 20. DeNittis said she was directed there by her insurance company (TD) after her vehicle was rear-ended.
But she said the very next day, she got a surprising call.
“They (the centre) called me to ask if my car was alright when I dropped it off,” she told Global News. “And I said, yes, other than the back bumper damage it was fine. They said, ‘It sounds like your catalytic converter is gone.’”
DeNittis said she headed there immediately but was informed her vehicle had been moved to another centre in another part of town where the work is apparently done. That is where, she said, it was confirmed her converter was indeed gone.
“I thought my car would go into the shop. They would do the repair and everything would be fine. But it wasn’t fine. It went from bad to worse.”
Catalytic converter thefts are big business and a big problem across the country and the city. Calgary police have reported a total of 1,469 thefts this year to date. While most happen outside of homes or in parking lots, thieves have been getting more brazen.
Global News recently reported on some incidents at auto dealerships in Ontario where thieves had gotten into the dealership and stolen the catalytic converters.
In those cases, consumers were left fighting with the dealerships and their insurers about who was responsible for paying for the stolen parts.
DeNittis found herself in the same fight.
She was told she would have to file a new insurance claim and be on the hook for the $500 deductible.
“I said you had care and control of my vehicle but they used the argument that articles left inside or outside of the vehicle are not their responsibility. It was attached to my vehicle.”
Global News reached out to TD Insurance with DeNittis’ concerns.
A spokesperson told us after looking into the issue and speaking to DeNittis that she would be refunded the $500 deductible. TD also committed to removing the claim from her policy and offered her a gas card for her “inconvenience” — apologizing for any confusion.
DeNittis was also concerned about where her car ended up after she dropped it off, adding she was told by employees the particular location had been the site of other such thefts and incidents.
Global News put that to TD Insurance, which said there are no concerns with that location. It also added it has not seen a significant spike in catalytic theft claims.
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