Burnaby, British Columbia — Catalytic converter thieves were caught red-handed at a traffic stop by Burnaby police.
The two men stopped by officers were already known to steal catalytic converters, and one was already told by the police previously that he wasn’t allowed to carry the cat-cutting tools. Burnaby police have since seized the tools from the men and in a Twitter post they say that the charges are being ‘forwarded.’
Thefts of this kind are on the rise as catalytic converters have expensive metals in them that are worth more than gold. Rhodium, palladium and platinum are the three metals that make catalytic converters so expensive and desirable for thieves to steal and sell on the black market.
An 18-year-old Ontario woman was also the victim of a brazen daytime catalytic converter theft this week when her converter was stolen from underneath her vehicle while she worked her shift at the local hardware store.
“It happened in broad daylight,” said the victim’s coworker, Peter Velenosi. “This poor young lady works so hard and doesn’t deserve this. She’s still in school. It’s definitely a crappy situation.”
The International Association of Auto Theft Investigators (IAATI) issued a call-to-action in late May, asking law enforcement officials and other authorities internationally to address the “epidemic problem.”