Tue. May 24th, 2022

‘Cat’ thieves fight back

Cameron Thomson / Vancouver is amazing – | History: 348063

Earlier this week, a woman in East Vancouver became the 14th person this year to be assaulted by thieves.

The 41-year-old was pepper sprayed Monday morning when she was confronted by two men in the middle of removing the catalytic converter from her vehicle. The suspects are still outstanding, according to police.

However, the woman is far from alone, as attacks directly related to thefts of catalysts have been on the rise in 2021.

“There have been 14 thefts of catalysts this year in Metro Vancouver, where the victim was assaulted during the theft compared to six in 2020,” says VPD Const. Tania Visintin. “Most of these incidents involve bear or pepper spray, but in one case a pill gun was used.”

Between January 1 and October 5, VPD has submitted 425 reports of catalyst thefts compared to a total of 204 thefts in 2020.

In July, VPD’s Property Crime Unit launched an investigation into two productive offenders responsible for four thefts of catalysts in one night alone. This investigation resulted in the arrest of the suspects charged with theft and possession of the stolen property.

Thieves are part of a vehicle’s exhaust system and search for catalysts for the precious metals found in them.

VPD strongly recommends not confronting thieves, but instead advises observing them and calling 911.

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