RIDGE Meadows RCMP have arrested four people in relation to two alleged catalytic converter thefts.
On Sunday, July 18, at around 7:16 a.m., police received a call from an observant citizen who noted a man underneath a vehicle in a parking lot of a local daycare in the 22700-block area of Lougheed Highway.
Police found a man matching the suspect’s description hiding in the bushes with electric cutting tools, multiple blades and catalytic converters nearby and subsequently arrested the man. A reported stolen high-end bicycle was also recovered as police were able to match the serial number to a previous file.
Later that same day, at around 7:40 p.m., police received a witness report of suspicious activity in the 10300-block area of Jackson Road. The witness report indicated two women, wearing high visibility vests, were operating leaf blowers on the sidewalk while a man crawled underneath a parked car and allegedly removed the catalytic converter. The party left the area shortly after in a grey Honda Odyssey.
However, prior to leaving the area, the suspects removed magnetic decals from the side of the vehicle which indicated they were operating as a legitimate business. Police suspect the leaf blower tactic was utilized as a distraction while the man was underneath the vehicle.
Police located the vehicle and observed multiple catalytic converters inside the car, subsequently arresting the two women and one man. The catalytic converters were seized and the vehicle was seized for civil forfeiture process.
“These thefts are occurring in highly populated areas during full daylight and something just seemed ‘off’ to the witnesses who observed this unusual activity and called it in,” said Constable Julie Klaussner on Monday. “These two files highlight that thieves can be quite brazen and so, if you are seeing something suspicious, please don’t hesitate to call us. We applaud and thank these citizens for doing their part.”
Formal charges are pending appearances in a BC provincial court process; therefore, no further information can be provided at this time due to privacy act considerations, police said.