JUST after midnight on June 4, a Delta police officer was patrolling on Derwent Way when he observed an unoccupied truck he suspected to be stolen out of another jurisdiction.
In investigating this truck he observed two people nearby, underneath a van. He advised the men of his presence and with the assistance of another officer who arrived on scene, took both of them into custody on suspicion of attempted catalytic converter theft. The men were in possession of a power saw.
There have been a number of catalytic converter and battery thefts in recent months, primarily on Annacis Island and in North Delta, with two in North Delta last week.
“We wanted to alert the public and business owners, because our officers would appreciate a heads-up whenever suspicious behaviour is seen – such as a person going underneath a truck, semi-truck or commercial vehicle at night,” says Cris Leykauf, spokesperson for Delta Police. “This is the type of occasion where it’s appropriate to call 9-1-1, as this could be a theft in progress.”
She points out that thieves can remove a catalytic converter with a reciprocating saw quite quickly.
A catalytic converter is an exhaust emission control device that reduces toxic gases and pollutants. Criminals from across Metro Vancouver are stealing these converters to sell the parts for scrap.
The Delta Police Department Business Watch Program has reached out to many businesses in North Delta which have vehicle fleets to inform them of the potential risk of theft. Tips to prevent catalytic converter theft are:
– incorporate better lighting to areas vehicles are stored
– increase sight lines from the road and use surveillance cameras
Additional suggested steps are:
– welding catalytic converter to the car frame to make it difficult for criminals to take the part off,
– engraving VIN numbers onto catalytic converters help in identification
– attaching security devices to catalytic converters also help in making them more secure and less prone to theft
Business owners interesting in learning more about increasing property security are encouraged to contact Delta Police’s District Community Liaison Offices.