New Westminster, British Columbia – A woman in B.C. says she was pepper-sprayed after two suspects allegedly stole the catalytic converter from her vehicle, according to a report by the New Westminster Police Department.
“As the value of the precious metals contained within the catalytic converters continues to increase, so do the number of thefts of these devices,” said Acting Sergeant Andrew Leaver.
Supply chain shortages since 2021, mineral shortages and the conflict in Ukraine have contributed to the scarcity of precious metals like platinum found in catalytic converters.
As early as 2020, Steve Fletcher, managing director of Automotive Recyclers of Canada raised concerns on rising catalytic converter theft in urban environments.
To date, the sale and purchase of catalytic converters are regulated in B.C.’s Metal Dealers and Recyclers Act, creating a loophole that eases the sale of stolen vehicle components.
The issue of stolen converters is still on the rise, according to reports from multiple municipal and provincial police forces across Canada.