Police hope the public can tip them off to whoever is stealing catalytic converters from vehicles in Nanaimo. More than two dozen thefts of the devices have been reported since January. Photo submitted

Nanaimo RCMP are out to curb catalytic converter thefts

Police report dozens of thefts of vehicle smog control devices since January

Someone is stealing vehicle catalytic converters in Nanaimo and RCMP hope the public can help drive the police investigation forward.

According to Nanaimo RCMP, since the beginning of January, they have received 26 reports of catalytic converters being stolen.

A catalytic converter is an exhaust emission control device that reduces toxic gases and pollutants and is installed near the exhaust pipe.

While a vehicle can still function without the device, a missing catalytic converter does disrupt the overall performance of the vehicle and to have it replaced can cost several thousand dollars.

Catalytic converters are preferred targets of some scrap metal thieves as the devices contain various amounts of precious metals such as platinum, palladium and rhodium, which can be converted to cash at scrap yards or, in some cases, by metal dealers.

Catalytic converters weigh, on average, about 4-4.5 kilograms and thieves steal them by cutting the connections of the device to the exhaust system with a hack saw or sharp blade.

“To date, there have been no arrests or suspects identified and at this time, we are turning to the public for assistance in moving these investigations forward,” said Const. Gary O’Brien, Nanaimo RCMP spokesman.

Anyone with information about any of these incidents, is asked to call the Nanaimo RCMP non-emergency line at 250-754-2345. To remain anonymous, contact Crime Stoppers at www.nanaimocrimestoppers.com or call 1-800-222-8477.

For past coverage of unsolved crimes in Nanaimo, click here.

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