COQUITLAM RCMP frontline officers responded to a catalytic converter theft on Sunday, January 15 near Rochester Avenue and Blue Mountain Street. The theft lasted a minute and was captured on the homeowner’s security cameras.
The lone male suspect wearing a black jacket and black track pants with a white stripe on the side was seen fleeing the driveway. The suspect then left in a white Ford Expedition with unknown licence plates.
“Catalytic converter thefts can be done relatively quickly by thieves,” said Cpl. Alexa Hodgins. “In order to deter thefts, Coquitlam RCMP is advising the public to park inside garages or underground parking lots when possible or in well-lit and travelled areas.”
According to ICBC, catalytic converter thefts within British Columbia have continued to rise in recent years from 89 reports in 2017 to 1,953 reports in 2021.
Tips to deter theft:
* Park in a secure garage, underground or behind a locked fence. If this isn’t an option, park in a well-lit and well-populated area.
* Park your vehicle in a manner where it may be difficult to gain access under your car. For example, when possible, park against a wall or close to other vehicles.
* Consider installing theft deterrents such as wire cages, alarms and straps.
* Speak with your mechanic regarding prevention measures. Bolts can be welded and an identification number could be etched onto the car part, making it more difficult for thieves to sell.
* Consider installing theft prevention measures around your home. Examples: motion activated lighting, functional security cameras, or trimming bushes and shrubs around vehicles to increase the street view of your vehicles.
For additional tips, visit BC RCMP’s Catalytic Converter Info & Tips.
“We encourage the public to report suspicious activities, including persons seen loitering in parking lots or underneath vehicles,” said Hodgins. “Continued neighbourhood vigilance is key when it comes to preventing and helping police locate prolific property criminals.”
The Coquitlam RCMP Property Crime Unit (PCT) and Uniformed Crime Reduction Unit (UCRU) are actively investigating reported catalytic converter thefts and searching for these thieves. If you see a crime in progress, call 9-1-1 immediately. To report a crime after the fact, call the Coquitlam RCMP non-emergency line, call 604-945-1550.