According to statistics provided by the Airdrie RCMP, there has been an increase in investigations into catalytic converter theft between 2021 and 2022.

In 2021, in the rural area of Airdrie, which includes the Cross Iron shopping area, there were 44 catalytic converter theft investigations. Last year, that number rose to 102, indicating a 43 per cent increase.

Within the city of Airdrie, 2021 saw 66 catalytic converter theft investigations, while in 2022, that number rose to 74. 

According to police, a program that was announced in Airdrie in May of last year sought to reach out to local auto body shops to ask them when servicing a vehicle, to offer their customer, at no expense, the option of etching the last six digits of a vehicle’s VIN on the catalytic converter, is still running.

While Airdrie's statistics on catalytic converter theft investigations show a slight increase, the Calgary area has seen an alarming trend. According to statistics provided by Calgary police, from January to November 2022, Calgary police received 3,174 reports of stolen catalytic converters, a marked increase from the previous year which saw 1,560 reports. 

Police believe that the motive for most catalytic converter thefts is due to the price of the precious metals used to make them, and they are usually easy to steal, making them a crime of opportunity. In an effort to help curb catalytic converter thefts, police announced on Wednesday, January 11 that they are partnering with Canada’s largest independent tire dealer, Kal Tire to offer engraving services.

If an engraved catalytic converter is stolen, the marking will allow the part to be tracked as stolen property through the Canadian Police Information Centre (CPIC) database. Scrap metal recycling businesses and private buyers can identify potentially stolen catalytic converters if they are engraved, and the seller cannot produce proof of ownership. In these instances, potential buyers should not proceed with the purchase and must report it to the police.

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