New Westminster has experienced an increase in reports of thefts of catalytic converters recently. In fact, nine cases have been reported to us in the past two months. Most noteworthy, seven of the victim vehicles are Toyota 4Runners. The other two are; Mazda MPV and, a Toyota Tacoma.
Why do thieves steal catalytic converters? Because they contain platinum. Platinum is a valuable metal that unscrupulous scrap dealers will pay $50 to $100 for. Why target Toyota 4Runners? Because their converters contain a high level of platinum and the vehicles high ground clearance makes it easier for thieves to access.
Replacing a vehicles catalytic converter is very expensive. This type of theft is on the rise across North America. Vehicle owners can make a difference in reducing this and other thefts involving vehicles.
What can you do to reduce the chances of being of victim of this crime? Practice the proven methods of theft prevention;
- Look for a well-lit, open area, near pedestrian activity if you’re parking outside.
- Lock your vehicle
- Invest in a good anti-theft device such as a vehicle immobilizer.
- Don’t leave any valuables in your vehicle.
- Never assume your vehicle won’t attract a thief.
- Avoid buildup of old insurance decals when applying new ones.
- Be sure to watch the gate close each time you leave or enter secure parking areas.
- Keep an extra key with you, not in the vehicle.
- Report suspicious people or activities to the police immediately
For more information on reducing thefts involving vehicles, contact the New Westminster Police Service Crime Prevention Unit at 604-525-5411 and, visit www.icbc.com/road-safety/prevent-autocrime/theft-proof