Mayoral campaign vehicle sidelined by catalytic converter theft


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A Winnipeg mayoral candidate’s campaign hit a pothole Sunday, when the catalytic converter was stolen from her team’s mobile hub.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 09/08/2022 (235 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

A Winnipeg mayoral candidate’s campaign hit a pothole Sunday, when the catalytic converter was stolen from her team’s mobile hub.

Rana Bokhari filed a police report, after finding out the recreational vehicle she is using as a campaign headquarters had been damaged prior to driving an event Monday.

“It just kind of puts a big damper on the campaign, but it’s also a cost that we’ve already incurred, when we have limited campaign expenses,” Bokhari said Tuesday.

“And to raise all the money and to do it, and now we can’t use it, because it’s sitting there — it’s a pretty big blow to the campaign.”

Bokhari’s name and images are emblazoned on the recreational vehicle, making the incident equally disheartening and unnerving, the former provincial Liberal party leader said.

“It’s not discouraging in terms of my campaign, I just feel disheartened because it (the auto part theft) kind of feels a little bit personal.”

The vehicle, now stopped on Art Miki Way, is out of commission until it undergoes the expensive process of getting a new catalytic converter.

She’s not alone. Catalytic converter thefts have become an all too common issue across Manitoba, with auto insurance corporation MPI reporting 2,200 theft claims related to the pollution control devices last year — a 450 per cent increase compared to the year prior.

The province stepped in and enacted new legislation last month that would require buyers of scrap metal to record details of every transaction and keep the paperwork for at least two years, along with prohibiting any cash transactions over $50.

Parts buyers must also keep details such as the licence plate number of the seller’s car.

These records have to be submitted to local law enforcement within seven days.

It also requires anyone selling items containing precious metals — such as catalytic converters — to show the buyers government identification, a description of how they obtained the items and a photo of their face.

Bokhari said if she wins the mayor’s seat Oct. 26, she’ll work with the province on addressing the root causes of petty crime.

“What I’m suggesting is a parallel approach, a comprehensive approach, where we’re dealing with poverty reduction, we’re dealing with the actual converters and the selling of them, and we’re working with the province with whatever initiatives they have in place.”

Malak Abas

Malak Abas

Malak Abas is a reporter for the Winnipeg Free Press.

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