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Catalytic converter thefts on the rise

By RCMP Cpl. Dennis Hwang

Published 1:44 PDT, Fri September 20, 2019

Last Updated: 2:29 PDT, Fri September 20, 2019

Richmond RCMP is warning the community of an uptick in the number of reported catalytic converter thefts from vehicles. 

A catalytic converter is present as part of the exhaust system in all modern combustion engine-equipped vehicles. They are located underneath said vehicles and form part of their exhaust system. These cylindrical devices are used to remove harmful particulates from the exhaust gases. They are costly to replace as they contain precious metals. A single catalytic converter can cost in upwards of several thousand dollars and some modern vehicles are equipped with more than one catalytic converter. Thieves are stealing them either for resale or to recycle the precious metals used in their construction.

Police are warning the community to be on alert for any suspicious persons that may be working underneath parked vehicles. They may be using a powered saw or torch to remove the catalytic converters. Sparks or flames may be present as thieves use tools to remove the converters. Pickup trucks are often the targets of this type of theft. There have been over 13 reported catalytic converter thefts since June 2019.

The Richmond RCMP Crime Prevention Unit has been reaching out to businesses and the community to provide education of this type of crime. Richmond RCMP patrol officers and officers from our Property Crime Unit and Prolific Offender Suppression Team are all actively searching for these thieves.

Please report this and any other suspicious activity immediately to the Richmond RCMP.

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