The Ucluelet RCMP detachment. (Westerly file photo)

The Ucluelet RCMP detachment. (Westerly file photo)

Catalytic converters stolen from cars in Ucluelet

ICBC claims for catalytic converter thefts in B.C. have climbed from 89 in 2017 to 1,953 in 2021

Ucluelet RCMP are investigating a rash of catalytic converter thefts.

Detachment commander Sgt. Kevin Smith said two catalytic converters were stolen between the week of March 9 to March 17 in the Forbes Road area. Tofino RCMP also reported that two catalytic converters were stolen around the same time-frame near the Tofino-Long Beach Airport.

“It seemed to be a one-night occurrence,” said Sgt. Smith.

A catalytic converter is a vehicle’s exhaust emission control device that breaks down pollutants. Catalytic converters contain precious metals, like platinum, palladium and rhodium, making them a high-value target for thieves due to the rising cost of those metals.

ICBC claims for catalytic converter thefts in B.C. have climbed from 89 in 2017 to 158 (2018), 602 (2019), 1,065 (2020) and 1,953 (2021). The average cost to replace a catalytic converter can cost between $1000 to $3000, depending on the vehicle.

On March 14, 2022, the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General made regulatory changes to strengthen measures that deter catalytic converter thefts in the province.

An amendment made to the Metal Dealers and Recyclers Regulation (MDRR) regulates catalytic converters that are not attached to an exhaust system. This requires registered metal dealers to report each transaction, including information about the seller, to police on the day of sale, according to a news release from the ministry.

“If anyone has seen anything or suspicious people or vehicles, give us a call,” said Sgt. Smith. Ucluelet RCMP’s non-emergency contact number is (250) 726-7773 or folks can visit the RCMP Online Crime Reporting hub to make a report.

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nora.omalley@westerlynews.ca

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