North Vancouver RCMP are reminding the public to call 911 if they think they may be witnessing the theft of a catalytic converter, especially if they see or hear anything suspicious in their neighbourhood overnight.
“The sound will be unmistakable,” said Sgt. Peter DeVries of the North Vancouver RCMP.
“If you hear a grinding noise, or what sounds like an electric saw, on the street outside your house at 4 am, it’s not a 24-hour muffler repair shop. But it might be a cat-con thief.”
“We’re asking everyone in the public to call 9-1-1 when you see or hear something suspicious,” said DeVries.
As part of a car’s exhaust system, a catalytic converter converts many of a vehicle’s more harmful exhaust pollutants into less harmful emissions.
Someone might steal one for its resale value, but more likely a thief will sell it to a recycling facility for the small amount of valuable metal it contains. Replacing a catalytic converter, however, costs much more. Including installation by a mechanic, the cost can be $2000 or more.
Here are a few tips you can follow to prevent theft of your catalytic converter:
Park in your home garage, if possible
Use motion sensing exterior house lights if you park in your driveway
Park in a well lit area
“Not everyone has a secure garage, or even a driveway,” said DeVries. “For many, the only choice is to park on the street. That’s why we’re asking the public to keep a watchful eye in their neighbourhood, and to report anything that seems suspicious.”
Anyone who thinks they may have witnessed a catalytic converter theft, or who may have information about someone committing these thefts, is asked to call the North Vancouver RCMP at (604) 985-1311, or Metro Vancouver Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477, online or via mobile phone app.
Metro Vancouver Crime Stoppers will pay a reward of up to $2,000 for information leading to the arrest of a criminal or recovery of stolen property.