Police officers in Saint John, N.B. have recovered hundreds of stolen catalytic converters as part of an ongoing investigation. Police say the converters, with a total worth of nearly $1 million, were heading out of the province.
Police confirmed all the converters were discovered at the same location. During the past six months Saint John cops have received about 50 reports of stolen catalytic converters from area vehicles. The problem’s gotten so bad, police are warning people to park only in secure areas if possible, such as well-lit lots or parking garages.
Catalytic converters are big business right now. Containing a plethora of valuable metals, including rhodium, palladium, and platinum, converters can be sold on the black market bringing in big bucks for unscrupulous sellers. On many vehicles, especially high-riding pickups and SUVs, converters are also easily accessible to thieves. They’re also plentiful, having been part of almost every vehicle’s exhaust system for the past three decades.
This type of crime isn’t just limited to N.B. Recently, P.E.I. police recovered $100,000 worth of converters and an Alberta resident was found in possession of 462 stolen items a year ago.
As for the victims, converter repairs and replacement repair shops can easily ding you for costs in the four-figure range. St. John police are asking anyone who has had a catalytic converter stolen from their car but not yet reported it, to contact them as soon as possible. St. John officers say more charges are likely.