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Halton Police report a rash of catalytic converter thefts

Halton Police report a rash of catalytic converter thefts

The Halton Regional Police Service (HRPS)report there has been a big spike in catalytic converter thefts.

This trend is being observed across North America however in Halton there has been a particularly large amount of thefts in Milton and Halton Hills. Between March 1 and April 12, 2022, 29 catalytic converters were stolen in 1 District (Milton and Halton Hills).

A significant portion of these thefts are occuring on weekends and almost all of them occur overnight. Thieves are targeting vehicles parked in quiet industrial lots and large apartment buildings however these thefts can occur anywhere.

It can take a thief as little as 60 seconds to remove a vehicle’s catalytic converter.

The precious metals inside a catalytic converter unit have significantly increased in value likely contributing to surge in thefts.

HRPS officers are conducting targeted patrols in industrial areas, self-storage units and parking lots throughout the region however residents are urged to take extra precautions and report any suspicious activity to police.

 Catalytic converters use a chemical catalyst to clean up your exhaust. With this catalyst’s aid, nitrogen oxide becomes nitrogen and oxygen, carbon monoxide becomes carbon dioxide, and remaining unburnt hydrocarbons are converted to water and carbon dioxide.

Unfortunately, the only suitable catalysts are rare metals, such as platinum, palladium, and rhodium. All of these metals are very expensive. Platinum’s current spot price is $1,135 per ounce, and Palladium costs more than gold, at $2,332 per ounce. While very useful, rhodium is highly unstable and ranges from $10,000 to over $21,000 per ounce.

Police recommend taking the following steps (if possible):

Vehicles should be parked in locked, well-lit areas

Parking vehicles in a way that makes it harder to access their underside, for example, against a wall or by other vehicles

Vehicle alarms and CCTV cameras can also act as a deterrent to thieves

Anyone with information regarding this investigation is asked to contact the 1 District Criminal Investigations Bureau at 905-825-4777 ext. 2416.

Tips can also be submitted anonymously to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS) or through the web at www.haltoncrimestoppers.ca.

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