The Kelowna branch of the B.C. SPCA has been targeted by thieves.
Sometime between the evening of Aug. 11 and the morning of Aug. 12, the catalytic converters from two of its main vehicles were stolen.
“As a charity, this is a low blowm” said Kelowna branch manager Sean Hogan.
A catalytic converter helps reduce the toxic exhaust gases that a vehicle emits.
The vehicles were parked in front of the shelter on Casorso Road when the offence occurred.
“Our vehicles at the branch are used for emergencies, they’re used to transport animals only to vet appointments,” said Hogan.
With the B.C. SPCA responding to wildfires, Hogan said the timing couldn’t be worse.
“We’ve been doing a lot more transport, including getting animals ready to move to the Lower Mainland and other branches to make room for animals to come to ours through emergency boarding and evacuees,” he said.
“The timing is really awful.”
Kelowna RCMP confirmed they have received numerous reports of this kind of theft lately.
Service departments at local dealerships, such as Okanagan Dodge, are also reporting the same trend recently.
“We’ve had a few vehicles come in that had them removed from underneath,” said Sterling Logan, service manager at Okanagan Dodge.
Sterling said the thieves are after the metals inside catalytic converters because of how valuable they are.
“They’re full of exotic metals, platinum, palladium, rhodium — all these metals that are hard to come by,” he said.
Earlier this year, the Boys and Girls Club of the Okanagan had catalytic converters stolen from three of its vehicles in Kelowna.
Trucks and higher vehicles seem to be more prone to theft because they’re easier to get underneath and access the device.
The Kelowna SPCA is trying to manage with one other vehicle and volunteers and staff helping out with their cars for now.
It’s expected to take about three weeks to get the two vehicles repaired.
The SPCA does have surveillance cameras, but it did not capture the offenders,
The organization is hoping the public can help with the investigation.
“We are asking the public to contact the non-emergency line for RCMP if they have any information, if they saw anything suspicious on Wednesday or Thursday, the morning of August 11 and 12,” said Hogan.
“Anything that would help us out,” Hogan said.