RICHMOND RCMP are warning the community of an uptick in the number of reported catalytic converter thefts from vehicles. There have been eight reported incidents from November 24-30. A similar increase occurred in August.
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 convertor. 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 convertors. Sparks or flames may be present as thieves use tools to remove the converters. Pickup trucks from domestic manufacturers are often the targets of this type of theft. However, police have started to see Hondas (Element, CRV, and Odyssey), Acura (1.7EL), and Toyota (RAV4) also being targeted.
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 the Property Crime Unit and Strikeforce are all actively searching for these thieves.
Report such thefts and any other suspicious activity immediately to Richmond RCMP.