ON average, there are four catalytic converter thefts reported to the Coquitlam RCMP between August and November (three year average: 2016-2018). During that same period in 2019, the number of reports is up to 44.
“We’re seeing a big jump. It’s most acute between 2018 and 2019 where we’ve seen a 335% increase in reported catalytic converter thefts year-to-date (comparing 23 year-to-date reported catalytic converter thefts from January 1 to November 13, 2018, to 100 reported thefts for the same period in 2019. ),” says Cpl. Michael McLaughlin with Coquitlam RCMP. “Our investigators are working to get those numbers back down to their traditionally low levels, but we need the public to take precautions and be our eyes and ears.”
Here are some tips to help catch thieves and avoid being a victim:
* Install good lighting and functional security cameras that you know how to use
* Park your vehicles in well-lit areas in view of security cameras
* If possible, use a locked garage or compound to park your vehicles overnight
* Watch for suspicious electrical tool noises and people under cars- especially late at night or in isolated parking lots
* Call 911 if you think you see a crime in progress
* Report all catalytic converter theft (or attempted theft) to the police as soon as possible
“Information from the public is key both for making immediate arrests and building crime activity maps,” says McLaughlin. “Security video can provide important evidence that connects one crime to another. Sometimes the smallest details can link and solve a series of crimes.”
If you see a crime in progress, call 911 immediately. To report a crime after the fact, call your police of jurisdiction. To reach the Coquitlam RCMP non-emergency line, call 604-945-1550.