A series of vehicle-part thefts have been reported throughout Metro Vancouver, including in Port Coquitlam and Delta. This week, RCMP alerted citizens about an increase in catalytic converter thefts taking place in Richmond in recent months.
A catalytic converter, a cylindrical device located beneath vehicles, is part of the exhaust system that helps to remove harmful particulates from exhaust gases. As they contain precious metals, they can cost thousands of dollars to replace.
Thieves have been stealing them to either resell or to recycle the metals in them.
On August 21, RCMP issued a warning that over 13 catalytic converter thefts have been reported in Richmond since June.
Richmond RCMP are advising citizens to be watchful for any suspicious individuals who are working beneath parked vehicles. These individuals may be using a power saw or torch to remove the catalytic converter, and sparks or flames may appear as they attempt to remove them.
Pickup trucks are often targeted with this type of theft.
After a sudden rise in catalytic converter thefts in industrial areas in Delta, the Delta Police Department and the Vancouver Police Department worked together to arrest three male suspects in Vancouver on July 9.
Then on July 11, two vehicles were found on fire in Port Coquitlam. Witnesses and video suggest that the fires were started by male suspects who were trying to steal catalytic converters.