“You Etch It. We Catch It” Surrey RCMP and partners launch new crime prevention strategy taking aim at catalytic converter theft


2023-04-01 11:00 PDT

Surrey RCMP and community partners are launching a new crime prevention initiative during Auto Theft Enforcement Month aimed at decreasing catalytic converter theft and making it harder for thieves to avoid detection.

The You Etch It. We Catch It campaign will allow people to have their vehicle identification number (or VIN) etched onto their catalytic converter free of charge when they are having other servicing completed at participating businesses throughout the city.

This distinctive marking will make it easier to identify a catalytic converter as stolen and connect it to a victim, while also acting as a potential deterrent for thieves.

The initiative is the result of a collaboration involving the Surrey RCMP South Community Response Unit, Property Crime Target Team, ICBC, and the City of Surrey in response to a rise in catalytic converter theft.

Last year, our crime analysts determined catalytic converter thefts made up 45% of theft from auto reports in the city, with 2143 catalytic converters stolen in 2022 alone, says Cpl. Vanessa Munn, Surrey RCMP Media Relations Officer. This new initiative will provide an extra layer of reassurance for vehicle owners, and an additional tool for police, as we target prolific catalytic converter thieves and make it more difficult for them to operate.

ICBC has seen the number of claims and claim costs for catalytic converter thefts rise in recent years, says Karen Klein of ICBC. We welcome this new strategy in partnership with the Surrey RCMP as a means of driving down this type of crime and reducing the risk to vehicle owners.

Look for local business partners displaying You Etch It. We Catch It posters. Participating business will provide window decals to anyone who has their Catalytic Converter etched, to deter thieves from targeting that vehicle.

Businesses wishing to participate can contact Surrey RCMP at Surrey_business_engagement@rcmp-grc.gc.ca. Participants will be provided with advertisement materials to highlight their participation in this initiative.

Theft of a catalytic converter can take less than a minute. The devices are attractive to thieves due to their valuable precious metal content, and SUV’s and trucks are often targeted due to being higher off the ground, which provides easier access for criminals.

There are other steps vehicle owners can take to mitigate the risk of catalytic converter theft, including parking in a secure garage or close to a wall or barrier, adjusting your vehicle security system to respond to vibrations such as those produced by a saw, and installing an anti-theft device such as a catalytic converter lock.

If you witness a crime in progress such as a catalytic converter theft, call 911. To report a crime that is not in progress, call our non-emergency line at 604-599-0502. You can also report certain types of crimes online at www.surreyrcmp.ca/report.

You can find out more about the You Etch It. We Catch It program at these upcoming community events:

Saturday April 15, 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. – Guildford Mall (10355 152 St)
Saturday April 29, 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. – Real Canadian Superstore (7550 King George Blvd)
Saturday May 6, 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. – Save On Foods (17745 64th Ave)
Saturday May 13, 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. – Real Canadian Superstore (2332 160 St)

Released by:

Cpl. Vanessa Munn
Media Relations Officer
Surrey RCMP
14355 57 Avenue, Surrey, BC, V3X 1A9
Office: 604-599-7776

Email: surrey_media_relations@rcmp-grc.gc.ca
Website: surrey.rcmp-grc.gc.ca

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