Catalytic converter thefts within Hamilton have been a persistent issue that continues to generate numerous calls for service. A two-week project targeting their theft has netted multiple arrests.
In June of 2020, Hamilton Police initiated Project GARFIELD which focused on the theft of catalytic converters. The project was aimed at identifying and arresting suspects involved in the theft of catalytic converters. It also served to identify businesses and residences that have been affected by this crime. The project was designed as a preventive tool with components that included education, partnership with the community and the concentration of efforts on chronic offenders.
The project team included members of the Division 20 HEAT Unit, Crime Managers, uniform patrol and BEAR Unit. As indicated below, the blended team approach yielded significant results.
Over the course of two weeks, members of the Hamilton Police Service patrolled target areas and delivered the following results over the duration of the project; 27 arrested and 68 criminal charges laid.
The individuals arrested tended to be people with known backgrounds in burglary and theft. A number of those arrested were on parole. Police say those charged were not working in concert with each other.
Catalytic converters are typically targeted for their value in scrap metals.
The value of the damage caused in the removal of this exhaust component generally exceeds that of the part itself.
Hamilton Police are reminding vehicle owners to take precautions in order to lessen their chances of becoming a victim:
Park vehicle in well-lit areas
Park closer to pedestrian or vehicle traffic so it is not isolated
When possible, park in areas that utilize video surveillance
If you have any information that you believe could assist Police with the investigation into this crime, you are asked to contact Detective Constable Brian WREN (905) 546-8925 or Det. Sergeant Andrea TORRIE (905) 546-8937.
To provide information anonymously call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or submit your anonymous tips online at http://www.crimestoppershamilton.com