Edmonton police dog helps nab alleged catalytic converter thief as 55 more thefts reported

What can be done about theft of catalytic converters in Edmonton?
WATCH ABOVE: (Dec. 13, 2019): Sarah Ryan looks at the growing problem of thieves targeting catalytic converters in Edmonton and what can be done about the problem.

An Edmonton police service dog is being praised for helping take down a suspect wanted in connection with a recent catalytic converter theft in the city.

Early Thursday morning, police were called to a vehicle theft in progress near 94 Avenue and 152 Street.

READ MORE: Catalytic converter thefts in Edmonton are skyrocketing — what’s the solution?

Police Service Dog Bady was also on scene and tracked the suspect to the back of a home in the area of 93 Avenue and 148 Street. Bady, along with EPS officers, found the suspect, who was coming out from under a nearby motorhome.

Arnold Boutin, 27, was taken into custody and charged with two counts of mischief, possession of break-and-enter tools and possession of a controlled substance.

Three others were arrested and charged in connection with a pair of catalytic converter thefts on Dec. 29.

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Police said Friday that officers followed three suspects to a residential neighbourhoor in Leduc, where they allegedly cut off a catalytic converter from a F-350 truck.

Police said a catalytic converter from a motorhome was found in the suspects’ vehicle when they were stopped by police after heading back to Edmonton.

Kristopher Peter, 37, Vassilios Plougaris, 55, and Mark Johnston, 32, were arrested in connection with the incident.

A closer look at the problem of thieves targeting catalytic converters
A closer look at the problem of thieves targeting catalytic converters

These cases are the latest in a string of catalytic converter thefts in Edmonton. Since the beginning of October, 500 thefts have been reported to police. In the past week alone, police said 55 new thefts were reported.

Police say the most common vehicles being targeted for their catalytic converters are SUVs — Honda & Hyundai — vans such as the Ford E-Series, and Ford F-Series trucks.

Thirty-five per cent of the thefts have happened overnight involving vehicles parked predominantly in commercial parking lots, followed by residential (apartment) parking lots, police said.