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OPP investigating catalytic converter thefts in Napanee

OPP L&A detachment in Napanee. Image by Logan Cadue.

The Lennox and Addington (L&A) County Detachment of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) has received reports of stolen catalytic converters at various locations in Greater Napanee over the last few weeks.

According to a release from the OPP, they have received reports from victims that were parked at businesses located on Bridge Street West, Richmond Park Drive, Center Street and Service Road between Monday, Jan. 17 and Wednesday, Jan. 26, 2022. The investigations remain ongoing by Lennox and Addington County OPP and the East Region Community Street Crime Unit.

“A catalytic converter is a component of the exhaust system on your vehicle that helps reduce both emissions and noise from the vehicle,” OPP said in the release. “Because the catalytic converter contains precious metals that are part of the exhaust conversion process, and also because the converters themselves are very expensive to buy, thieves have been targeting them as a means to make easy money on the illicit market.”

Practicing a few proven crime prevention techniques can dramatically reduce your risk of victimization for thefts and other property crimes, according to the release. OPP said that thieves targeting catalytic converters will usually operate at night and, although not exclusively, are most likely to gravitate toward those areas where a number of vehicles are parked and unattended like car dealerships and carpool parking lots. In order to get to the converters, a thief needs to access the underside of a vehicle and use metal cutting tools like saws or torches in order to cut the converter away from the exhaust system.

These crime prevention techniques, provided by the OPP, can be used to lower the risk of becoming victims of these types of crimes:

  • Always parking your vehicle in a well-lit area;
  • Leaving exterior lighting on your house at night;
  • Parking your vehicle in a garage, if you have one;
  • Reviewing notifications from home security camera systems and looking for any suspicious activity; and
  • Always locking your vehicle and ensuring that the security system is active, if equipped.

Detectives are asking anyone with exterior video or photographic footage in the areas of Richmond Park Drive and Bridge Street West from Thursday, Jan. 20, 2022, to review their footage between 3 p.m. and 11 p.m. to see if there is a suspicious person underneath or looking into parked vehicles.   

Police are asking the public to report if they have been a victim of a catalytic converter theft and/or to report suspicious activity and suspicious people. Calls to the OPP can be made by calling 1-888-310-1122, or *OPP on a mobile device. Additionally, while is it not suitable for crimes in progress, information can also be provided anonymously through Crime Stoppers by calling 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or online at www.ontariocrimestoppers.ca

Ted Hsu for MPP
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