In particular, thieves have been stealing catalytic converters, which is a part of a vehicle’s exhaust system located underneath a vehicle and is designed to reduce the emission of harmful particles, for their precious metals.
The Vancouver Police Department (VPD) announced on March 25 that the number of catalytic converter thefts in the city have increased this year.
From January 1 to March 6, Vancouver police received 71 reports of thefts of these auto parts already in 2021. In comparison, there were 33 of these thefts in the same time period in 2020.
VPD spokesperson Const. Tania Visintin stated that 37 percent of the targeted vehicles were Hondas, 26 percent were Fords, and seven percent were Toyotas.
Visintin said at a news conference that these thefts are particularly taking place in residential areas.
The VPD is advising drivers to park vehicles in garages or secure parking lots (or in well-lit areas if those location aren’t options); businesses to have fenced-off areas and consider security patrols; to park at shopping centres close to a building entrance or near roads with traffic or pedestrians; and ensuring video surveillance has quality resolution and adequate lighting.
Anyone who sees a theft in progress is asked to call 911.
The VPD also released this video that captures an example of a catalytic converter theft underway (police aren't seeking to identify the individual in this video but provided it to illustrate how these thefts occur).