While much of the nation sits in a state of powerlessness regarding catalytic converter theft, a triple-threat partnership between the province, the police and Winnipeg Crime Stoppers has greatly curbed theft rates in Manitoba, and its efforts are becoming more expansive.
As per a series of amendments to the Scrap Metal Act, the province of Manitoba mandated that automotive recyclers buying scrap metal are required to detail every transaction involving scrap metal and hold these records for two years.
The Scrap Metal Act was first introduced in December 2021 to curb a 450 percent increase in catalytic converter theft between 2021 and 2022. Between January and September, the province found that converter thefts dropped from a peak of 353 thefts in April, to 19 reported thefts in September.
The Manitoba government attributes this decrease in thefts to Winnipeg Crime Stoppers’ catalytic converter engraving programs, where drivers may engrave their vehicle’s VIN engraved so it could be traced back to its owner in the event of a theft.
Similar VIN-etching programs were launched in Steinbach, M.B. and Airdrie, Alta. this year, though the RCMP has yet to release statistics concerning its effectiveness.