Theft of catalytic converters jumps: MPI
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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 23/12/2021 (464 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Thefts of catalytic converters have skyrocketed more than 500 per cent in Manitoba this year, and some vehicle owners have been stuck with a hefty bill.
Catalytic converters, which control exhaust emission, are a common target for thieves because they contain metals such as platinum and palladium that can be sold to scrap metal dealers. The converters can be removed easily from underneath vehicles.
In the first 11 months of this year, 2,242 claims for catalytic converter theft were registered with Manitoba Public Insurance.
Spokesman Brian Smiley called that a “significant and disturbing” jump compared with 396 claims in 2020.
A new catalytic converter costs between $1,500 to $2,500.
“We do know that there are scrap metal outfitters out there that will buy these. At this point, it’s certainly still legal to continue buying them, and there’s a market for them,” he said.
“So for vehicle owners, it’s extremely inconvenient when the catalytic converter is stolen. They will ultimately end up paying their deductible because it’s a partial theft, and they will also be charged what we call a ‘betterment fee.’” That’s when an extremely used part is replaced with a new part. The amount of the fee depends on how many kilometres are on the odometer. MPI recently lowered the maximum fee as a response to the rise in catalytic converter theft.
Should you see someone attempting to steal your catalytic converter, Smiley said it’s most important to keep yourself out of harm’s way.
“Do not approach the thief, absolutely do not approach the thief, but if there’s a vehicle nearby, try to get a description of that vehicle, a licence plate number would be helpful,” he said.
“If you can, try to get a description of that individual which you can provide to the police.”
RCMP in Dauphin reported Thursday that 10 such complaints had been filed in the past three weeks.
In the past three weeks, Dauphin RCMP received 10 complaints of theft involving catalytic converters being removed from vehicles.
RCMP said people could prevent such thefts by parking in well-lit areas and close to buildings and entrances when unable to park in a secured garage or building; parking in an area that has video surveillance; setting the car alarm to go off if it detects vibration and engraving your vehicle identification number on the catalytic converter.
People are advised to call police if they spot anyone underneath a vehicle, either in a residential or business area, during off-hours.