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B.C. makes regulatory changes to curb catalytic converter thefts

Changes to Metal Dealers and Recyclers Regulation compel sellers to report transactions to police
This file photo shows 12 catalytic converters stolen from vehicles in the Lower Mainland. (PHOTO: Abbotsford Police Department)

The province is taking steps to curb rising thefts of catalytic converters.

READ MORE: Catalytic converter thefts on the rise throughout province

Thefts have climbed dramatically since 2017. According to ICBC claims for catalytic converter thefts, there were only 89 in 2017, but 1,953 in 2021. Claim costs for catalytic converter thefts skyrocketed to $4 million in 2021 — far higher than the $356,950 paid in 2017.

In a news release, Public Safety Minister and Solicitor General Mike Farnworth said a new amendment to the Metal Dealers and Recyclers Regulation will require metal dealers to report each transaction, including information about the seller, to police on the day of sale.

Prior to the amendment, catalytic converters could be sold to metal dealers without providing personal information.

READ MORE: Surrey woman catches catalytic converter theft in progress

“The theft of catalytic converters is a serious problem and we are happy to have consulted with the Province to help curb this illegal activity,” said Charla Huber, president, BC Association of Police Boards.

“We are pleased that the Metal Dealers and Recyclers Regulation has been amended to include catalytic converters where they are detached from an exhaust system. We believe this provides police with an important tool to close the channel on those who steal and resell these items.”

Catalytic converters are exhaust emission control devices that reduce pollutants in exhaust that contain precious metals and have been a target for thefts because of price increases in those metals.


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