Skip to content

RCMP in support of efforts to curb catalytic converter thefts

Battlefords RCMP appeared at North Battleford council Monday night to outline a number of new initiatives to deter thefts in the city.
RCMP Sgt. Adam Buckingham speaks at North Battleford council Nov. 14.

NORTH BATTLEFORD - Efforts to curb thefts, and in particular catalytic converter thefts, were top of mind at Monday night’s council meeting in North Battleford.

Appearing to speak on the issue were members of Battlefords RCMP Detachment, who spoke on three safety initiatives the force was working on.

The first was on catalytic converter thefts. RCMP Sgt. Adam Buckingham spoke on the issue at length, noting this was a trend with an uptick locally.

Working with the city, they have come up with a plan to address the issue. One is to have the last eight digits of a vehicle’s PIN number to be etched onto its catalytic converter. 

Buckingham noted there are no markings on catalytic converters and they were untraceable. If they caught thieves with one on hand, there was little they could do to prove where they came from.

This way, by etching the markings, police could trace where it came from and could lead not only to municipal and provincial charges but also possession of stolen property charges.

“It may make it much more difficult for would-be thieves to pawn or sell these items,” said Sgt. Buckingham. “If a business has to have some reasonable explanation as to where it came from, it may become much more difficult for them to find a business that’s willing locally to buy these products or to travel to Saskatoon or somewhere else… it may make the process much more difficult and be a deterrent in the process.”

The indication from RCMP is it would be a free service; six local businesses have indicated they will participate in the program to help people get their catalytic converters etched with the identifying markings.

The RCMP appearance to speak on the catalytic converter issue coincided with a proposed bylaw amendment before council that night to require those carrying catalytic converters in the city to show proof of ownership. Those not providing proof would face fines of $1000, according to the bylaw provisions.

Two other initiatives presented by the RCMP on Monday include a strategy, in conjunction with the city, to create a “safe Internet exchange zone” where buyers and sellers can meet at a place provided by the city. 

The idea is to prevent robberies from happening. The safe zone would feature constant lighting as well as video surveillance. 

The third intiative is to urge the public to implement a “9 p.m Routine,” where people are encouraged to make their property safer by 9 p.m. each day by locking their doors, locking their vehicles, putting away their large tools and making sure things of value are kept out of sight.

“It’s just something to make people think of ‘what I can do to make people safer’,” said Buckingham, addimg that a lot of thefts and vandalism are crimes of opportunity. 

As for the bylaw to require people carrying catalytic converters in the city to have a permit, that passed in three readings on Monday.

Click for more from Crime, Cops and Court.