Police are warning the public following an increase in catalytic converter thefts from vehicles.
According to the OPP, officers are investigating three recent incidents in the Orillia area, according to a media release.
“This is a growing crime trend across the province, largely fueled by the rising prices of the valuable metals contained within,” reads a media release from police.
The first occured between the hours of 10 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. on May 21 when a catalytic converter was cut from a vehicle which was parked in a public parking lot.
“The owner realized that the car had been tampered with after starting it and hearing the loud, non-muffled exhaust,” the media release reads.
On May 28, a homeowner in Oro-Medonte interrupted a theft in progress, shortly after 5:00 a.m., when he discovered a male beside his vehicle in his driveway.
“The suspect fled on foot and upon further inspection, it was discovered that a single cut had been made through the vehicle’s exhaust pipe near the catalytic converter,” the media release reads.
The following day, another vehicle owner in Orillia discovered that her catalytic converter had been stolen overnight when she found part of her muffler system on the ground near her vehicle.
“The thief had cut the desired part from the pipe and left the rest behind,” the media release reads.
In all three cases, the targeted vehicle was a Honda CRV.
“Across the province, the most targeted vehicles have been motorhomes and Ford trucks located in parking lots, service garages, storage properties and driveways,” police noted.
“Catalytic converters contain the precious metals Platinum, Palladium and Rhodium which can fetch top dollar from metal recycling companies.”
Police offer the following tips to protect your property.
- Park your vehicle in a garage if available.
- Always park in a well-lit area.
- Install motion lighting and video surveillance equipment if possible.
- Park your vehicle close to a fence or curb on the muffler side, this will make the theft more difficult.
- Report all property crime to your local police, even if it seems minor in nature. Crime statistics are utilized by the OPP to help direct resources with crime prevention initiatives and directed patrols.