submitted by St. Albert RCMP
St. Albert RCMP are seeing a rise in thefts of catalytic converters in St. Albert, particularly when the vehicle is left parked for a few hours or overnight in shopping mall or store parking lots, in front of closed businesses and in industrial areas.
While August 2019 saw one catalytic converter theft, St Albert RCMP received 11 reports of catalytic converter thefts in September. So far, October has shown two thefts of catalytic converters from St. Albert vehicles and one attempted theft. The most recent theft happened on the Thanksgiving weekend, when a grey 2005 Honda CRV left in a staff parking lot at the Sturgeon Community Hospital had the catalytic converter cut out and stolen.
Catalytic converters contain expensive metals that criminals are selling for a profit, but the owner of the damaged vehicle incurs a hefty repair bill. Replacing a stolen catalytic converter can cost the vehicle owner up to $2000.00 per vehicle.
Catalytic converters can easily be removed by sliding under the vehicle and sawing through the piping. This means that trucks, vans and SUVs are more at risk for catalytic converter thefts as they are easier to crawl under.
To prevent catalytic converter thefts:
Park in well-lit areas when possible
If you have a garage, park your vehicle inside
Park close to building entrances, or close to roads so there is more people passing by your vehicle that could see when something is wrong
Report any suspicious behaviour around parked vehicles.