Two men have been arrested for allegedly trying to steal a catalytic converter from a van on Annacis Island.
According to a press release, a Delta police officer was patrolling on Derwent Way just after midnight on June 4 when he observed an unoccupied truck he suspected had been stolen in another jurisdiction.
As he investigated, he observed two people underneath a van nearby. He advised the men of his presence and, with the assistance of another officer who arrived on scene, took both men into custody on suspicion of attempting to steal the van’s catalytic converter. The men were in possession of a power saw.
A catalytic converter is an exhaust emission control device that reduces toxic gases and pollutants. According to the release, criminals from across Metro Vancouver are stealing these converters to sell the parts for scrap.
There have been a number of catalytic converter and battery thefts in recent months, primarily on Annacis Island and in North Delta, with two in North Delta last week.
“We wanted to alert the public and business owners, because our officers would appreciate a heads-up whenever suspicious behaviour is seen — such as a person going underneath a truck, semi-truck or commercial vehicle at night,” DPD public affairs manager Cris Leykauf said in press release. “This is the type of occasion where it’s appropriate to call 9-1-1, as this could be a theft in progress.”
Leykauf noted that thieves can remove a catalytic converter with a reciprocating saw quite quickly.
The DPD’s Business Watch Program has reached out to many businesses in North Delta which have vehicle fleets to inform them of the potential risk of theft. To prevent catalytic converter theft, the recommend incorporating better lighting to areas vehicles are stored, increasing sight lines from the road and using surveillance cameras.
Additionally, police suggest welding the catalytic converter to the car’s frame to make it difficult for criminals to take the part off, engraving VIN numbers onto catalytic converters to help in identification, and attaching security devices to catalytic converters as they also help make them more secure and less prone to theft.
Business owners interested in learning more about increasing property security are encouraged to contact their local District Community Liaison Offices. The North Delta office, located at 11906 80th Ave., is open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (except for statutory holidays) and can be reached by calling 604-599-7280.