Thieves in the Parksville Qualicum Beach area appear to have a recent affinity for catalytic converters.
Located under the car, the parts are usually stolen by cutting the connection from the exhaust system. Although cars can function without them, their absence increases the amount of toxic gases and pollutants emitted and can impact the overall running of your vehicle.
Several incidents have been reported since July and police said more could have gone unreported.
Cpl. Jesse Foreman of the Oceanside RCMP said investigating these incidents is difficult.
“It’s hard to get any kind of fingerprints,” he said. “We haven’t had any reports of this happening in progress, where we’ve been able to track anyone down.”
As to why the thefts might be happening now, Foreman said the high price of the metals the part contains could be to blame. Palladium, rhodium and platinum are all contained in the converters.
“We’re getting the same thing in terms of theft of gas, whether that be siphoning or punctured gas tanks, we’ve had quite a few of those lately,” Foreman said.
Catalytic converters are often sold to scrap metal dealerships after being stolen, but Foreman said those dealerships usually require identification.
Foreman recommends always trying to park close to your home or in a well-lit area to reduce the chance of this kind of theft.