It appears the province has found a successful solution to combating catalytic converter thefts.
Since the province’s Scrap Metal Act became a law earlier this year, thefts have dropped dramatically, from a high of 353 in April to just 31 in August and 19 in September.
The province says part of this can be attributed to a catalytic converter engraving program implemented by Winnipeg Crime Stoppers, where motorists have their vehicle identification number (VIN) engraved on the converter.
This allows recovered converters to be reunited with their rightful owners, and those who steal them can be charged for being in possession of stolen goods.
(More than) 500 converters have been engraved and marked to deter these thefts,” said Winnipeg Crime Stoppers president Paul Johnson. “We are not aware that any of these 500 converters have been a target of theft.”
Other parts of the Scrap Metal Act include requiring dealers to record details about transactions related to scrap metal. Those records must be kept for two years and provided to a peace officer when requested.
Cash is not allowed for any transaction more than 50 dollars.
“We know we need to keep the pressure on catalytic converter thieves,” Manitoba Justice Minister Kelvin Goertzen said. “We continue to encourage Manitobans to have vehicle VIN numbers engraved on catalytic converters to help disrupt the theft and resale of these parts.”
Steinbach RCMP are now promoting a new VIN engagement effort for residents of southeast Manitoba.