Catalytic Converters

Prevent catalytic converter theft

Catalytic converter thefts have increased significantly in Leduc and other municipalities in Alberta. While the Province of Alberta introduced scrap metal legislation in November 2020 with sellers requiring to provide identification when selling catalytic converters, the rate of thefts has not slowed down. The lack of an identifiable victim impacts the police in solving these thefts.

Trade of catalytic converters is regulated by the City of Leduc Business Licence Bylaw. Individuals found with an unattached catalytic converter must have a valid business licence for automotive repair or auto parts supply and transport, or a permit from the RCMP. Those who are unable to provide one of these documents when found with an unattached converter may be fined $1,000 per catalytic converter. 

Automotive repair and auto part supply and transport businesses will automatically be covered with their business licence. Individuals looking for a permit to be in possession of an unattached catalytic converter can obtain one for free at the Leduc RCMP detachment (4119 50 St.)   

What is a catalytic converter?
A catalytic converter is an exhaust emission control device that converts toxic gases and pollutants found in internal combustion exhaust gas. This device is part of the exhaust system under a vehicle and is located between the engine and muffler.

Why are catalytic converters targeted for theft?
Catalytic converters contain precious metals platinum, rhodium, and palladium. The metals are expensive, and thieves can sell the converters for several hundred dollars per piece, depending on the size of the converter and the current rate on the metals inside it. These types of theft have increased across the Alberta due to the rise in prices for precious metals.

How to prevent catalytic converter theft:

To avoid becoming a victim of catalytic converter theft, consider the following:

  • Park in a garage when possible.
  • Park in an area covered by surveillance video.
  • Park close to curbs to deter access underneath your vehicle.
  • Park in well-lit areas.
  • Next time you take your car in for service, ask your mechanic to engrave the last eight digits of your vehicle's VIN on your catalytic converter. The etching of catalytic converters can assist the RCMP with its investigation if the catalytic converter is stolen and recovered. It also acts as a deterrent for criminals, since recycling centers have been informed marked converters are likely stolen property and should be reported to law enforcement.
  • Alarm systems can be calibrated to activate upon vibration.
  • Security devices are available to attach to your catalytic converter to make it more difficult to remove.

How would I know if my catalytic coverter is stolen?
If your catalytic converter is stolen, you will notice a loud rumbling or roaring sound as soon as you turn on the engine. This gets louder when you hit the gas. The exhaust is not working properly, so the vehicle also drives rougher than usual, often with a sense of sputtering as you change speed. Go to the back of the car and look underneath. The catalytic converter connects two pieces of piping in the exhaust. You will see a gaping space in the middle of your exhaust if the converter is missing, and you will likely see signs of the piping cut away or tampered with.

You Etch It. We Catch It
The City of Leduc and Leduc RCMP have partnered to provide a "You Etch It. We Catch It." crime prevention program. The following businesses will engrave the last eight digits of your vehicle information number (VIN) free of charge while your vehicle is being serviced.

  • Kal Tire
  • DK Ford
  • Leduc Chrysler, Jeep Dodge
  • Leduc Hyundai
  • L.A. Nissan
  • Schwab Chevrolet Buick GMC
  • Fountain Tire
  • Canadian Tire
  • OK Tire (Leduc) and OK Tire Nisku
  • Jiffy Lube

How to report catalytic converter theft:

If you see suspicious activity, such as hearing sawing/grinding noises at night, or witness a crime in progress, call 911 immediately. To report a catalytic converter theft that is not currently in progress, call the Leduc RCMP at (780) 980-RCMP (7267).