Thursday, November 4, 2021

Catalytic converter theft getting ridiculous - update

A B.C. law passed a decade ago to put a stop to metal thefts doesn’t cover catalytic converters. The loophole allows thieves to sell them to scrap dealers without scrutiny. The significant rise in the price of the precious metals inside the converters; platinum, palladium and rhodium, has resulted in an explosion of thefts. Rhodium is priced around $11k an ounce, up from $780 five years ago. It hit $29k an ounce in March. A converter has a gram or two of rhodium. There is no legal requirement for scrap dealers to record a converter purchase in B.C. Thieves use online platforms such as Facebook Marketplace or Kijiji to find buyers. Because converters don’t have serial numbers or distinctive markings, there's nothing stopping them.
Catalytic converter thieves in Vancouver are getting so brazen, broad daylight and witnesses with cameras aren't slowing them down. Scum are so practiced it takes less than 30 seconds for them to remove a converter that costs $1,000 to replace. Converters are money on the hoof for drug addicts. 1,189 thefts have been reported to VPD in 2021 so far, up from 1,060 in all of 2020. Claim costs are more than $2.3m and rising exponentially.