66 catalytic converters stolen in Hamilton over 2 months: police

Hamilton police say that catalytic converter thefts have escalated in the last couple of months as people continue to target SUVs in parking lots across the city.

Thieves can take catalytic converters in under 2 minutes from large SUVs

Hamilton police are warning the public as catalytic converter thefts continue to "escalate." (Hamilton Police Service)

Hamilton police say that thefts of catalytic converters are on the rise in the city over the past couple months. 

They say that 35 thefts were reported in December 2019, with another 31 reported in January.

Police warned the public about catalytic converter thefts last year, where 61 stolen converters were reported stolen over the course of six months. The past two months have surpassed that number. 

Thieves take catalytic converters — a component of a car's exhaust system — for their high value metal, which is then sold at scrap metal yards. 

Police say larger-style SUVs are being targeted because of how accessible it is to take the converter. It can be removed in less than two minutes.

Thieves are targeting parking lots at malls, educational facilities and other commercial areas. 

Just before 9 a.m. on January 23, around the area Burlington Street and Parkdale Avenue North in Hamilton, police say a man was seen selling two stolen catalytic converters for cash. 

Police brought the 53-year-old Hamilton man into custody with his bail opposed. He has been charged with both fraud and trafficking in property under $5,000, possession of property obtained by crime, and possession of burglary tools. 

Police are asking anyone with information into this incident or other catalytic converter thefts to contact the Hamilton BEAR Unit's Detective Sean Woodard at (905) 546-3820 or Crime Stoppers. 

Police are also issuing the following reminders to the public: 

  • Park your vehicle in well-lit areas. 
  • Park closer to pedestrian or vehicle traffic to ensure the car isn't isolated. 
  • Check if the area has video surveillance. 
  • Contact the police if you notice a loud muffler-related noise and loss of engine-power when starting your vehicle.