More break-and-enters and thefts have been taking place in the Tri-Cities recently.
That’s from Coquitlam RCMP who are now taking action in increasing patrols for criminal activity for its next CompStat stint, currently in effect until May 18.
Officers are set to focus on two hotspots, one in Coquitlam which has seen an uptick in catalytic converter thefts.
This has recently become a common item of theft in the region as they’re worth at least $1,400 at scrap metal dealers.
Because there is no legislation cracking down on these items, it’s difficult to stop re-resale other than catching a thief red-handed.
Police started noticing a rise in catalytic converter thefts in 2019 when 44 were stolen between August and November 2019, a 335% increase over the previous year.
In July 2019, a fire damaged two vehicles when thieves attempted to steal the device from a parked car in Port Coquitlam.
Thefts of catalytic converters from cars continued to be a problem through 2020.
In fact, last year alone - per ICBC - catalytic converter thefts across the Lower Mainland reached 2,154.
RCMP will be monitoring the following Coquitlam areas that have been identified as a recent hotspot for catalytic converter theft, along with break-and-enters at construction sites and vacant businesses:
- From Blue Mountain Street in the west to Schoolhouse Street in the east
- From Roderick Avenue in the north to Highway 1 south
Meanwhile, there’ll be an increased police presence in the following Port Coquitlam areas recently subject to vehicle-related crimes, including theft and break-and-enters in parkades, bike storages and neighbourhood homes:
- From Reeve Street in the west to Mary Hill Road in the east
- From Whyte Avenue in the north to Pitt River Road in the south
Anyone who witnesses suspicious activity is encouraged to call Coquitlam RCMP at 604-945-1550 or call 9-1-1 if there’s a theft in progress
Police also suggest several tips as they begin cracking down on vehicle and property theft.
- Locking vehicle doors and rolling up the windows
- Parking in well-lit or -populated areas where "natural surveillance" can serve as a deterrent
- Taking your garage opener, house/business keys and vehicle registration papers out of your vehicle when it’s parked
- If thieves stole these items, they could use them to commit other crimes including identity theft and break-and-enter
- with files from Diane Strandberg, Tri-City News, and Mike Howell, Glacier Media