Friday, January 14th
Early Thursday morning while patrolling the 2400 block of 14th avenue, a sharp-eyed Vernon Mountie spotted someone under a vehicle using a power tool.
Turns out it was a woman allegedly attempting to steal the vehicle's catalytic converter.
The suspect was arrested. A reciprocating saw and the catalytic converter cut from the vehicle were also recovered.
Catalytic converter thefts are on the rise in Canada. Some areas reporting an increase of 450%
In BC Catalytic converter thefts have cost ICBC, and motorists, approximately $2 million since 2016. That number is growing faster all the time. As well there are the hundreds in deductible fees paid by victimized vehicle owners
In Richmond BC the RCMP reported 238 catalytic converters were stolen between January 1st and September 2021. Vancouver was even worse with 425 thefts.
Catalytic converters are attractive to thieves because of the precious metals they contain. Some components are more valuable than gold.
With the right tools, like a cordless reciprocating saw, a thief can remove a Catalytic converter in a matter of minutes
That means even in broad daylight your vehicle is not safe.
The thief may get $100 - $200 dollars for the converter but the cost of replacement costs can be in the thousands of dollars
Farmers Insurance has posted information on how to better protect your catalytic converter.
Back in Vernon, the 53-year old Kelowna woman, with a previous court-imposed condition not to possess tools, remains in police custody until she appears in court today.
The investigation continues.