Nanaimo RCMP are advising the public they have received twenty-six reports of catalytic converters being stolen from vehicles since the beginning of January.
Police say catalytic converters, which weigh (on average) approximately eight to 10 pounds, are being removed from vehicles with a hacksaw or sharp blade. While vehicles can still function without the device, it does disrupt the overall performance and can cost upwards of several thousand dollars to replace.
“To date, there have been no arrests or suspects identified and at this time, we are turning to the public for assistance in moving these investigations forward,” Const. Gary O’Brien, media relations officer for the Nanaimo RCMP.
A catalytic converter is an exhaust emission control device that reduces toxic gases and pollutants in the emissions and is installed near the exhaust pipe. Police say catalytic converters are preferred targets of some scrap metal thieves as the devices contain various amounts of precious metals — such as platinum, palladium and rhodium — which can be sold for cash at scrap yards or by metal dealers.
Anyone who has information on the incidents is asked to call Nanaimo RCMP at 250-754-2345 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.