Summerland RCMP believe catalytic converter thieves have left the Okanagan

Catalytic thieves have left?

Crime analysts for the South Okanagan believe the thieves responsible for the rise of catalytic converter thefts in the beginning of 2023 have left that area.

Summerland RCMP Sgt. Dave Preston gave his first-quarter report to council during Monday's meeting, noting the area did experience an increase in thefts from motor vehicles.

"So during that time, January, February, March, a lot of the detachments in the surrounding areas experienced a high number of catalytic converters being stolen from their vehicles," he said.

"That was 15 files of the 19 that we had for motor vehicles. So 15 of those were catalytic converters."

But now, police believe the thefts will lessen.

"They believe that the person or persons responsible for that were out-of-towners, and they've done their crime and have now left, so those numbers are expected to drop," Preston said.

Overall, the Summerland department reported 600 calls for service, which is down six per cent from the same period last year. Property crime saw an overall reduction of 26 per cent.

According to the Ministry of Public Safety, ICBC claims for catalytic converter thefts in B.C. have climbed from 89 in 2017 up to 1,953 (2021).

ICBC claim costs for catalytic converters during the same time increased from $356,950 in 2017 to $4,059,081 in 2021.

Catalytic converters have become a common target in recent years because they contain valuable precious metals, including palladium, platinum and rhodium. At a scrapyard, they can range in value from $100 to over $1,000.

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