Tue. Dec 7th, 2021

Vancouver Police has received 425 reports of catalyst thefts this year, more than double the 204 thefts last year.

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Catalyst thefts are on the rise, and some of them could be violent, Vancouver Police warned.

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There have been 14 catalyst thefts this year in Metro Vancouver, where the victim was assaulted during the theft – more than double the six incidents in 2020. In Vancouver, there have been four such cases, compared to none the year before.

“Most of these incidents involve bear or pepper spray, but in one case a pellet gun was used,” said Const. Tania Visintin on Friday.

In the latest case, a 41-year-old woman in Vancouver was pepper sprayed on Monday after confronting two men while removing the catalytic converter from her vehicle, which was parked near Renfrew Street and East 1st Avenue. The two men escaped.

Police said the public should call 911 and not approach the suspect if they witnessed the ongoing thefts.

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“We want people to be a good witness,” Visintin said. “Come to a security place to give the police the most accurate, up-to-date information so we can make an arrest.”

Vancouver Police has received 425 reports of catalyst thefts this year through Oct. 5, which is already more than double the 204 thefts last year.

Catalysts are located under a vehicle as part of its exhaust system. They are targeted at theft due to the precious metals inside them.

In July, the Vancouver Police Property Crime Unit launched an investigation into two productive offenders responsible for stealing four catalysts in one night. The couple has been charged with theft and possession of stolen property, police said.

chchan@postmedia.com

twitter.com/cherylchan

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