Winnipeg Crime Stoppers, Manitoba Justice and the Winnipeg Police Service have all engaged in a multi-pronged approach to decrease the incidence of catalytic converter thefts.
Again, with funding made available from Criminal Property Forfeiture, Crime Stoppers continues an engraving initiative called Save Your Cat. Owners can bring their vehicle to auto service centers and have their catalytic converter engraved with the vehicle serial number (V.I.N) and painted with a high visibility paint. This program is a deterrent for thieves, as an engraved (stolen) cat will not be accepted at a scrap dealer since the new Provincial scrap metal act was enacted.
Seventy local shops have offered this service at no cost to the vehicle owner when it is in for other service work.
Although we have seen an 80% drop in the first six months of 2023 compared to 2022, in Winnipeg it still represents almost $1,000,000 of stolen converters. We have seen a 70% drop province wide during this time.
These thefts are still occurring in large numbers across Canada and the U.S.A. We have shared our program details with other jurisdictions to address their thefts. (BC, Alberta, New Brunswick)
The MMDA (Manitoba Motor Dealers Association) has greatly supported this program, with thirty local dealers participating and more to come.
For July and August, Crime Stoppers will also offer double the cash awards up to $2000 for information on persons committing these thefts or purchasing stolen catalytic converters.