(Ottawa Police Services) — Catalytic converters are an important part of every vehicle; they serve as an exhaust emission control and help reduce pollutants in exhaust gas. Unfortunately, they are also an item that the Ottawa Police Service has noted as a frequently stolen. Catalytic converters are expensive and hold a high resale value.
Since January 1, 2021, there have been approximately 187 reported catalytic converter thefts in Ottawa. It is believed that the number is higher, as oftentimes these thefts go unreported.
These thefts happen fast, with only a few tools and the right amount of time, they are quickly removed before the vehicle owner notices. A video posted online from a partnering police service shows how in under 60 seconds, the catalytic converter can be removed.
The Ottawa Police Service has documented that these thefts mainly occur in the late evening or overnight, and often with vehicles that are higher off the ground (commercial vehicles, full sized vans, pick-up trucks).
With this information in mind, the Ottawa Police Service is offering some tips to protect your vehicle against catalytic converter thefts:
- Make your vehicle less vulnerable to thefts by parking it in a locked garage.
- Lock your vehicle and ensure that the security system is active, if equipped.
- Exterior lighting and video surveillance around the driveway can also serve as a deterrent.
- Parking near a busy pedestrian area or near any known surveillance cameras.
- Finally, good old-fashioned neighbourhood watch. If you see something suspicious, do not engage the suspected thieves, call 911, and be vigilant!
Catalytic converter thefts can be reported online.
Anonymous tips can be submitted by calling Crime Stoppers toll-free at 1-800-222-8477 or at crimestoppers.ca