Two men are facing charges after St. Albert RCMP said they caught suspects during what they say appeared to be the theft of catalytic converters.
On Monday, police were called to the Ron Hodgson dealership’s used car lot at around 4:45 a.m. after reports that two men were seen roaming through the lot and checking vehicle doors.
Police said when they arrived they found two men underneath two side-by-side vehicles with reciprocating saws allegedly located underneath each of them.
RCMP also said they found two bags containing catalytic converters with “flattened-down footprints” next to the bag.
One police officer noticed a reciprocating saw blade on the running board of a vehicle with its exhaust cut off, according to an RCMP news release issued Thursday afternoon.
Two people from the Edmonton area have been arrested and police said they are facing charges.
Catalytic converter theft has been a problem in the Edmonton area over the last few months.
In December, Edmonton police said more than 320 of the exhaust emission control devices had been stolen in the city since October. Thieves have predominantly been targeting Ford F-series trucks, Ford F-350s and Ford Econoline and Cutaway vans, police said at the time.
At the beginning of January, that number had increased to over 500 thefts reported since October. In the first week of January alone, police said 55 new thefts were reported.
Thirty-five per cent of the thefts have happened overnight and involved vehicles parked predominantly in commercial parking lots, followed by residential (apartment) parking lots, police said.