More than 100 catalytic converters stolen from area vehicles since start of 2021
KITCHENER -- Local police say they've seen an increase in thefts of catalytic converters from vehicles.
Surveillance video caught two people stealing from vans in Guelph on Monday morning.
"We came to work on Monday morning and our guys started to start their trucks and it was just this roar that came out from under the trucks," said Rick Oosterveld, owner of Oosterveld Heating and AC. "I knew right away that somebody stole the catalytic converters out of our trucks." Catalytic converters are part of the engine and help reduce emissions. Without them, vehicles, are extremely loud.
"We have eight trucks lined up here, eight catalytic converters gone," Oosterveld said.
Vince Klimkosz, owner of Vinnies Mr. Fix It, said one of his client's vehicles was also hit.
"We were very surprised," he said. "I know personally that catalytic converters are worth a lot of money."
Thieves strip them of their precious metals and sell them on the black market.
"Rhodium is about $19,000 an ounce, more than 10 times the value of gold," said R. Michael Jones, CEO of Platinum Group Metals. "Palladium is about $2,200 and platinum is about $1,300 an ounce."
Guelph police say the number of thefts are on the rise. There were about 20 reported since late last year.
"We have had an occurrence in Guelph with a residential vehicle being targeted," Det. Sgt. Phillip Perrins said. "I would suggest parking inside a garage or target hardening your home with lighting."
Waterloo regional police said they're investigating after 131 catalytic converters were stolen between Jan. 1 and the start of March.