Hamilton

Police warn residents after 61 catalytic converters stolen in past 6 months

Most of the thefts have happened overnight, but some have been "brazen daytime thefts" where suspects have crawled under vehicles to cut away the converters, according to police.

Thieves can remove a converter in less than 2 minutes, according to investigators

Hamilton police are warning residents after a rash of catalytic converter thefts. (Hamilton Police Service)

Hamilton police are warning residents about a spike in thefts of catalytic converters from vehicles over the past six months.

Investigators say 61 thefts of the exhaust emission control devices have been reported in that time.

The units contain high-value metal that is stolen then sold to scrap metal yards.

Most of the thefts have happened overnight, but some have been "brazen daytime thefts" where suspects have crawled under vehicles to cut away the converters, according to a police media release.

A converter can be removed in less than two minutes, say police, adding vehicles at public parking lots at malls, schools and commercial areas have all be hit.

Large SUVs appear to be the main target for thieves because the exhaust system is easier to access, say police.

The service suggests the following tips as ways to protect your vehicle:

  • Park in a well-lit area.
  • Park as close as possible to pedestrian or vehicle traffic.
  • Check to see if the place you parked has video surveillance.

Drivers who notice a loud "muffler-related noise" or a loss of power when starting their vehicle are asked to contact police.

now