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Surrey man questions park and ride security after catalytic converter stolen

Click to play video: 'South Surrey park and ride users hit by catalytic converter thefts'
South Surrey park and ride users hit by catalytic converter thefts
A warning to users of the park and ride in South Surrey, the lot has been hit by catalytic converter thieves. As Kamil Karamali reports, very little has been done to keep vehicles secure – Aug 22, 2022

A Surrey. B.C., man is warning others over what he says is a lack of security at TransLink’s Surrey Park and Ride.

The catalytic converter was stolen from Michael’s truck at the facility on July 21, and he said officials told him there was little they could do about it.

“Transit police said, ‘We don’t have any footage or any security there.’ No one is monitoring it. Which the signs say — that you then see afterwards,” he said.

“It was pretty disappointing.”

Read more: Vancouver cyclist warns others after bike stolen from TransLink bike parkade

Global News has agreed to use only Michael’s first name out of concerns he could be targeted again.

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Michael, who works in financial services in downtown Vancouver, said he decided to give the park and ride a try this spring, as things began to reopen from the pandemic, as a way to cut back on the use of his large truck.

“It worked great, I did it three times, and was like, ‘Ok I am going to make this a part of my schedule in the fall,'” he said.

“And then the fourth time I went downtown and I came back about 5 p.m., my truck was in the same spot, turned it on and it sounded like 12 Harley Davidsons chasing me down, and I knew right away what had happened.”

Click to play video: 'Vancouver cyclist warns others after bike stolen from TransLink bike parkade'
Vancouver cyclist warns others after bike stolen from TransLink bike parkade

He called RCMP, who directed him to TansLink, who directed him to Transit police, he said.

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“The response was we get these calls all the time at the South Surrey Park and Ride and the Scott Road one … They get it all the time all day every day,” he said.

“I do believe they said there were no cameras in that whole lot.”

Michael said the insurance cost to replace his catalytic converter, $500, was steep enough to ensure he won’t be parking in the lot again.

Read more: Woman allegedly pepper-sprayed by catalytic converter thieves in New Westminster, B.C.

Neither TransLink nor Metro Vancouver Transit Police made someone available for an on-camera interview.

Both agencies did not answer questions about why there were no cameras in the lot or if any changes would be made.

In an email, TransLink spokesperson Tina Lovgreen said the transit authority ensures the area is well lit and that there is CCTV coverage of the bus loop.

TransLink works with Transit Police, Transit Security, Surrey RCMP and Impark to ensure the area is patrolled, she added.

Click to play video: 'Catalytic converter thieves have become increasingly more brazen in their methods'
Catalytic converter thieves have become increasingly more brazen in their methods

Transit police said they had only one documented catalytic converter theft across the transit system in the past three months and that they had not documented an increase in such thefts, but said the crime is often under-reported.

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Surrey RCMP said it had received nine reports of catalytic converter thefts in the area since the start of the year.

But Paramdeep Mann, owner of Citywide Towing, said he regularly deals with or hears about thefts at the South Surrey lot.

Read more: RCMP officer catches Kelowna, B.C. woman under vehicle removing catalytic converter

“It’s very common over there. Two or three times a week this thing happens. People just park their car over there, when they come back their catalytic converter was stolen,” he said.

“We are really surprised. Earlier it used to happen during the night, but now this is happening during the day also.”

Mann said thefts of the valuable part were on the rise across the city, and that he didn’t understand how no one is cracking down on the people who are buying the units from the thieves.

According to ICBC, there were 348 reported catalytic converter thefts in Surrey in 2020, costing the insurer $700,000 and 349 thefts in 2021, costing $666,000.

Back at the park and ride, other drivers told Global News they were also concerned about the lack of security.

“There’s no supervision, whenever something happens it’s ‘Oh yeah, we’ll come by and we’ll patrol,’ but you rarely ever see them,” commuter Bruce Brownlee said.

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