Calgary police partner with Kal Tire to help prevent catalytic converter thefts
In an effort to help curb catalytic converter thefts, vehicle owners can now opt to have their vehicle identification number (VIN) engraved onto their catalytic converter.
Starting today, Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2023, vehicle owners will be able to book appointments at any Kal Tire location across Calgary to have the engraving done. 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 will need to report it to police.
By the numbers*:
In 2019, there were 205 reported catalytic converter thefts to Calgary police. That number slightly increased to 300 in 2020. In 2021, police saw a reported 1,560. From January to November 2022**, police received 3,174 reports of stolen catalytic converters.
These statistics represent the number of catalytic converter thefts reported to Calgary police and do not capture the full scope of catalytic converter thefts that occurred during this time period.
“We are aware that a large number of catalytic converter thefts are not being reported as people worry they are tying up police resources, or that it will be too difficult for the suspect to be located and held accountable,” says Calgary Police Service Community Resource Officer, Const. Brent Podesky. “It’s important for citizens to know that each report, no matter how small, is taken seriously and helps us develop prevention initiatives, such as the engraving program with Kal Tire.”
“With catalytic converter thefts on the rise in Calgary, Kal Tire is proud to partner with the Calgary Police Service to help drivers protect their vehicles,” says Kal Tire Regional Director of Urban Retail Stores, Mike Butcher. “Engraving your VIN on your catalytic converter is an effective way to help prevent this costly and growing problem, so our teams are happy to dedicate resources to help.”
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. Investigators have received reports of brazen thefts occurring during the day, as it only takes thieves minutes to remove them from vehicles.
Citizens who opt to have their catalytic converter engraved through the program with Kal Tire will help deter theft and have a greater chance of the part being tracked and recovered if it is stolen.
Appointments with Kal Tire will be available from January through to the end of March 2023. The cost for this hour-long service is $40 and will include a free visual tire and brake inspection. Customers will also receive two small window decals that indicate the catalytic converter has been engraved with the vehicle’s VIN.
The Calgary Police Service encourages citizens to install home security alarms and cameras, and car alarms. Drivers are encouraged to park in a closed, secured garage if possible or park in a well-lit area outside. If citizens happen to see suspicious behaviour, whether it be a catalytic converter theft in progress or something else, report it to police immediately and do not confront the other person(s).
Police continue to work with local scrap metal dealers and recyclers and enforce the provincial legislation, the Scrap Metal Dealers and Recyclers Identification Act, which applies to copper theft and catalytic converter theft. Further to this, police also work closely with peace officers from the City of Calgary Bylaw Services to ensure compliance with the Business Licence Bylaw (32M98), which dictates that salvage yard/auto wreaker businesses must document a detailed description of the acquired part, including the vehicle’s identification number, make, model, colour and year.
To report a theft, contact the Calgary Police Service non-emergency line at 403-266-1234, or call 9-1-1 for a crime in progress.
*These stats only show completed thefts, not attempted thefts. Late reporting also affects the stats.
**Complete 2022 stats will be available in mid-January 2023.
About Kal Tire
Kal Tire is Canada’s largest independent tire dealer and one of North America’s largest commercial tire dealers. Kal Tire’s Mining Tire Group is an international leader in mining tire service and supply, servicing more than 150 mine sites across five continents. The company has warehouse facilities across Canada servicing more than 250 Kal Tire retail and commercial stores. Kal Tire owns and operates 11 truck tire retread facilities across Canada, plus six earthmover retreading facilities located in Canada, the United Kingdom, Chile, Ghana and Mexico. The company employs more than 6,500 team members. For more information, visit www.KalTire.com.
Nikki Kinakin, Supervisor, Communications
Calgary Police Service
Media Line: 403-428-7979