Vancouver woman pepper-sprayed by man in process of stealing her catalytic converter

Vancouver police are warning about an increase in violence associated with catalytic converter thefts. Already this year there have been 425 reports of catalytic converter thefts in Vancouver compared to less than half that amount in all of 2020. And in more and more cases, police say, the victim has been assaulted.

A 41-year-old woman was pepper-sprayed by a man who was in the process of stealing the catalytic converter on her vehicle in East Vancouver recently.

Police said on Oct. 4, just before 7:30 a.m., the woman confronted two men who were “actively removing” the catalytic converter from her vehicle, which was parked near Renfrew Street and East 1st Avenue.

“We are reminding the public to call us if they witness this type of crime, and if possible, not to approach the suspect,” Const. Tania Visintin with Vancouver police said in a release Friday. “We ask witnesses to get to a safe place and stay on the phone with our call takers so police will have the most accurate information to arrest the suspect.”

Read more:

Why are thieves across Canada stealing catalytic converters?

Vancouver police said there have been 14 catalytic converter thefts this year in Metro Vancouver where the victim was assaulted during the theft. Visintin said most of the incidents involved bear or pepper spray, but in one case, a pellet gun was used.

Between Jan. 1, 2021 and Oct. 5, 2021, Vancouver police have had 425 reports of catalytic converter thefts compared with a total of 204 thefts in 2020.

Catalytic converters are targeted for theft because of the precious metals inside them, police said.

If anyone sees this type of theft in progress, they are asked to call 911.

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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