Calgary, AB,

Local businesses charged with purchasing stolen metals

Calgary Police Service investigators have been working jointly with The City’s Compliance Services to address the high number of catalytic converter thefts in Calgary.

Early in 2020, our investigators noticed a significant number of catalytic converters being stolen in Calgary. To date in 2020, there have been 280 occurrences of catalytic converter thefts, with a total of 423 converters taken from businesses and citizens.

To address this trend, in February 2020 police began an operation to target offenders stealing catalytic converters and selling them at local metal recycling businesses and salvage yards.

“These catalytic converter thefts are very costly to citizens and insurance companies,” says Staff Sergeant Graeme Smiley of the CPS District Support Unit. “Unfortunately, we are seeing that there are some businesses within Calgary not doing their due diligence and in some cases, knowingly buying stolen metals, which is driving the demand for these thefts.”

Police worked with investigators from Compliance Services, who charged two Calgary salvage yards with a total of 35 offences under Section 56 of the Business Licence Bylaw. Charges include failing to record various information about the seller of a catalytic converter.

“These complaints are very serious and have the potential to place both the public and businesses at risk,” said Acting Chief Licence Inspector, Michael Briegel. “Businesses found operating in contravention of the Business Licence Bylaw will be held accountable for their actions and could face similar charges, including a suspension or revocation of their licence to operate.”

Police continue to investigate the criminal occurrences of these catalytic converter thefts.

Citizens can protect their vehicles from having their catalytic converters stolen by:

  • Parking in a secure garage or well-lit area that is monitored by CCTV
  • Installing an alarm system
  • Never parking in a secluded area
  • Be on the lookout for individuals performing mechanic work in unusual locations such as in a parking lot or on a residential street, or at unusual times such as overnight
  • Reporting any suspicious activity to police by calling 403-266-1234, or 9-1-1 for a crime in progress