(HILTON BEACH, ON) – On August 23rd, 2021 members from the East Algoma Detachment of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) responded to a theft of a catalytic converter from a car that was parked overnight at the Hilton Beach Marina in the Town of Hilton Beach.
On August 10th, 2021, OPP members responded to a theft of a catalytic converter from an SUV at the carpool parking lot at Highway 17 and Highway 548 in Tarbutt-Tarbutt Additional Township.
A catalytic converter is a filtering device that’s part of an exhaust system. Its main function is to convert pollutants to less toxic materials before air exits an exhaust pipe. The devices can be found on the underside of most vehicles, though not on electric vehicles since they don’t produce any emissions.
Inside the converter are three precious metals: Platinum, rhodium and palladium.
Thieves are collecting the converters, melting them down to get to the precious metals and selling them on the black market.
Thieves looking for catalytic converters usually take them at night and mainly gravitate toward lots where a number of vehicles are parked. This includes car dealerships, carpool lots and marina parking lots. The thieves use saws or torches to cut the converter away from the underside of the vehicle.
Tips to prevent catalytic converter theft:
- Park in gated, well-lit areas with security cameras when possible.
- Keep vehicles in a garage with the door closed when not in use.
- Park vehicles in a way that makes it harder to access their underside, for example, against a wall or by other lower vehicles.
- Use heat-resistant neon-coloured spray paint on the entire catalytic converter. This makes it more visible and can deter thieves.
- If you have a security system on your vehicle, calibrate it so vibration sets it off. This ensures the alarm activates if a thief tries to saw off the converter.
- VIN stickers and engraved VIN numbers of catalytic converters can deter thieves and make it easier to identify when stolen.
- Security devices can be purchased that attach to the converter, making it harder to steal.
Anyone with information regarding these thefts of catalytic converters is asked to contact 1-888-310-1122 East Algoma OPP detachment at 1-888-310-1122.
Should you wish to remain anonymous, you may call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS), where you may be eligible to receive a cash reward of up to $2,000.