In partnership with the City of Leduc on Dec. 21, 2021, the Leduc RCMP held a catalytic Converter theft prevention event, “You Etch It. We Catch It.”
This event highlighted a new crime prevention strategy and Leduc RCMP gave a demonstration of the etching of the vehicle identification (VIN) onto a catalytic converter of a vehicle.
Leduc RCMP says that they recognize the theft of catalytic converters has been a problem in the community and the lack of ability to identify a victim has created challenges for police in solving these crimes.
The rate of catalytic converter theft in the Leduc area has gone up from 29 reports of stolen catalytic converters in 2019 to 106 reports in 2020.
In 2021 Leduc RCMP received 150 reports of stolen catalytic converters and trucks are more regularly targeted.
On many previous occasions, officers of the Leduc RCMP have found suspects with catalytic converters in their possession, however, have no way to prove they were stolen or return them to their rightful owners. A lack of identifying information connecting them to the rightful owner is a big part of this issue.
Leduc RCMP have partnered with the City of Leduc to develop a crime prevention strategy to assist police with these investigations.
This program will be used at businesses in the City of Leduc who choose to join the “You Etch It. Wet Catch It,” program. The program involves etching the last eight digits of the VIN onto the vehicle’s catalytic converter. This will be done at no cost to the customers.
The VID serves as an identifier which will assist police in identifying the part should it get stolen.
“We hope that this program continues to grow from here and that more businesses continue to sign-up,” says Insp. Jeff McBeth, Officer in charge of Leduc RCMP.
“We want to keep these catalytic converters on the vehicles in our community and out of the criminal’s hands.
Leduc RCMP also has a few tips to include catalytic converters from being stolen including:
• Park in well-lit areas and close to building entrances, when possible.
• Park your vehicle inside your garage and keep all garage doors shut and locked.
• Park in an area that is under video surveillance.
• Business owners should secure their vehicles behind locked fences or inside a locked building.
• Set your car’s alarm to go off when it detects vibration.
• Engrave your vehicle identification number (VIN) on the catalytic converter. This may alert a scarp metal dealer that it was stolen and makes it easier for police to identify the owner.
• Report to local police, if you see anyone underneath a vehicle or around a resident/business at odd hours of day or night.