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Catalytic converter thefts up 60% year-on-year in Canada: report

Catalytic converters are exhaust emissions devices made from valuable metals

Catalytic converter theft is on the rise, with Canada seeing a 60 per cent year-on-year rise in insurance claims in 2022.

Theft of these converters has become a huge phenomenon because of the precious metals they are made of like palladium, rhodium and platinum in the treatment of exhaust gases, according to a new report by Allstate.

The insurance claim for a repair of this part was approximately $2,900 in 2022, up 21 per cent from the previous year and up 81 per cent from 2020. The number of claims was up 1,710 per cent from 2018.

There were 1,953 thefts reported in 2021 alone in B.C., according to provincial stats.

With the rise of these thefts, there have been efforts from the province to try to deter thieves from going after the valuable part, including an amendment in March of 2022 to the Metal Dealers and Recyclers Regulations which requires metal dealers to mark down all catalytic converter sales and report information about the seller to the police on the same day of the sale.

“We are changing the rules to better fight thieves who steal catalytic converters,” said Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth said at the time.

There have also been talks of raising the fines for thieves that get caught stealing this valuable part.

READ MORE: Increase in catalytic converter thefts prompts police warning

Allstate said vehicle owners can prevent thefts by having a mechanic install a cage or plate over the converter, as well as getting a professional to add a unique vehicle identification number on major parts of the car to help aid in the recovery.

Video surveillance near where parking stalls can also serve as a deterrent.