News & Resources

Theft of Catalytic Converters Are on the Rise, OPP Warns

May 25, 2021
3 mins
A man leans over a woman's shoulder and points to something on her desktop computer

The Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) reports a spike in catalytic converter thefts across Ontario and warning motorists to protect their vehicles.

A catalytic converter is a component of the exhaust system on your vehicle that helps reduce both emissions and noise from the vehicle. They’ve been built into every car since 1993. Because the devices contain precious metals that are part of the exhaust conversion process and are expensive to buy, thieves have been targeting them to make money by selling them for around US$500.

The Toronto Police Service also issued a public advisory warning of the increase in catalytic converter thefts, adding the vehicles of interest to thieves are Japanese and Korean makes. It’s not just a Toronto or Ontario problem either; catalytic converter thefts have been on the rise across Canada for months.

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Will my car insurance policy cover the theft of a catalytic converter?

In Ontario, a mandatory car insurance policy is comprised of four primary coverage types:

Vandalism or theft of a vehicle is not protected by a basic policy. To safeguard your vehicle against these potential threats, consider adding optional comprehensive insurance to your policy, as it will pay for damages related to vandalism, theft, or if your car is damaged as a result of a natural disaster, like a flood or hailstorm.

Tips for protecting your vehicle from vandalism or theft

The OPP recommends drivers take the following actions to protect their vehicles:

  • Park your vehicle in a well-lit area or a garage if you have one.
  • Leave exterior lighting on at your house at night.
  • Review notifications from home security camera systems and look for any suspicious activity.
  • Lock your vehicle and ensure that the security system is active.
  • Always remove valuables from plain view inside your car. If the property cannot be removed, secure it in the trunk or other unseen locations within your vehicle before reaching your destination.
  • Be a good neighbour, share information, and look out for each other's property.
  • Be sure to report any suspicious activity or incidents to the police immediately. Your information may help interrupt a potential crime, identify a crime trend or suspect, or prevent further crimes.

Anyone with information on catalytic converter thefts can contact the OPP by calling 1-888-310-1122 or online via OPP.ca/reporting. You can also report any crime anonymously by contacting Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or online at www.ontariocrimestoppers.ca.

Liam Lahey

Liam Lahey is a versatile marketer with experience as a staff and freelance writer for many business and technology publications and newspapers. He previously worked as the editor and media spokesperson for RATESDOTCA, handling home, auto, and travel insurance topics.

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