Converter thefts have increased dramatically as the price of platinum has skyrocketed. (Ryan Remiorz/The Canadian Press photo)

Converter thefts have increased dramatically as the price of platinum has skyrocketed. (Ryan Remiorz/The Canadian Press photo)

Delta Police arrest suspect mid-theft of catalytic converter

The man, who is known to police, was arrested for break-and-enter and theft

Police have arrested a man found in middle of stealing the catalytic converter from a vehicle in Delta.

According to a DPD press release, police were alerted to a break-and-enter in the Tilbury area at about 4 a.m. on an undisclosed day in early April. The complainant informed police they had witnessed the suspect entering the closed and secured area through a hole in the fence.

Police arrived on scene at a Vantage Way business within minutes and could hear the sound of metal being cut by a power saw within the secure lot. Police then located the suspect in the process of removing the catalytic converter from an RV.

“The suspect was also noted to be in possession of another catalytic converter and multiple cutting tools,” Cris Leykauf, public affairs manager for the Delta Police Department, said in a press release. “The suspect, who is known to police, was arrested for break-and-enter and theft. He has been released from custody and will be appearing in court on Aug. 5, 2021.”

Police say catalytic converter theft is an ongoing issue across the region as the salvage price of metal contained in the exhaust emission control device is currently high and can be turned around for a quick profit. Although there are no scrap metal yards in Delta, police are still working on a number of initiatives to try to prevent this type of property theft.

One of the most effective ways to date has been increased patrols in the middle of the night in industrial areas such as Tilbury and Annacis Island, according to the DPD release.

Police are also recommending that commercial fleet operators and owners of RVs and large trucks have their catalytic converters etched with the vehicle’s licence plate number. The DPD is encouraging motorists to speak with their mechanics during their next service and inquire whether they provide etching services, adding their district liaison officers have been speaking with local service shops who are in support of this initiative.

In addition, police are offering the following tips to protect your vehicle’s catalytic converter from being stolen:

• Park your vehicle in a garage or well-lit areas

• Park in a secured lot with a security guard

• Always report suspicious activity

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