A nurse at Kelowna General Hospital got an unpleasant surprise as she was coming off a double shift on the night of January 31.
Security guards told the woman they had chased away a thief trying to steal the catalytic converter from her vehicle.
Kevin, her husband, says the thief almost got away with the car component, as the two cuts they made to the undercarriage of her Jeep were nearly complete.
“My wife felt deflated after working a double shift the night before. She wishes the staff parking was more secure for sure,” said Kevin.
Interior Health says security conducts external and parking lot patrols regularly at KGH. “We are happy to hear our security guards were able to stop this thief’s attempt. Criminals are not selective about which businesses or locations they choose for this type of crime and we are not immune.”
IH says its protection services wing works closely with local RCMP to implement risk mitigation strategies to ensure a safe and secure environment for patients and staff.
Kevin says that, in the end, the part the crook actually cut wasn’t the catalytic converter. His wife took her Jeep in to be repaired and was told it was the resonator, which he points out is worth next to nothing.
Catalytic converters have become a common target in recent years because they contain valuable precious metals, including palladium, platinum and rhodium.
ICBC says claim costs for thefts of the devices jumped to more than $4 million in 2021 from $356,950 in 2017.
Last March, the government introduced new regulations to fight the crime. An amendment to the Metal Dealers and Recyclers Regulation regulates catalytic converters that are not attached to an exhaust system. It requires registered metal dealers to report each transaction, including information about the seller, to police on the day of sale.