Calgary police say man died while trying to steal catalytic converter

Calgary police believe a man died accidentally while trying to steal a catalytic converter in the city last month.

Thefts of the exhaust devices have spiked in the past year

An example of a catalytic converter in this 2007 file photo. Calgary police believe a man died underneath a vehicle while trying to steal a catalytic converter in Mayland Heights on Jan. 25. (Robert F. Bukaty/Associated Press)

Calgary police believe a man was accidentally killed while trying to steal a catalytic converter in the city last month.

Catalytic converters are exhaust emission control devices found on most vehicles. The devices contain high-value metals that criminals can sell for cash.

As scrap, they can be worth several hundred dollars, according to Catalytic Control, a scrap metal yard in New Jersey.

One apparent theft recently in Mayland Heights resulted in death, Calgary police say.

Police responded to a late-night call to the 2000 block of Centre Avenue S.E. on Jan. 25.

They discovered a man deceased underneath a vehicle. It's believed that the vehicle fell on the man, police said.

Police said the investigation is still in its early stages and wouldn't release any further information surrounding the circumstances of the man's death.

Ian McAnerin, president of the Northern Hills Community Association, says a community resource officer told them about the incident during a meeting.

"I kind of have mixed feelings, like, nobody wants to hear about somebody dying just over a few dollars," McAnerin said. "But at the same time, there is that sense of kind of like karma involved there."

The latest statistics from Calgary police show that thefts of catalytic converters have spiked. There were 45 thefts in 2018, compared with 205 last year.

With files from Colleen Underwood


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