The Edmonton Police Service (EPS) is partnering with the Alberta Motor Association (AMA) and Kal Tire on the “Tag Your Cat” VIN engraving program to help fight rising catalytic converter theft.
“EPS has been pursuing numerous initiatives to help reduce the growing problem of catalytic converter thefts that go beyond police investigations,” says Superintendent Derek McIntyre.
“These include increasing public education, creating new government legislation, and implementing anti-theft strategies such as VIN identification and engraving.”
Starting July 6, 2023, vehicle owners will be able to bring their car, truck, or van into a participating Kal Tire location in Edmonton to have their catalytic converter engraved with the vehicle identification number (VIN) for $40. Every vehicle with an engraved catalytic converter also receives a warning decal to let potential thieves know that the auto part is marked.
Following the successful launch of a similar program earlier this year between Kal Tire and the Calgary Police Service, the AMA and Kal Tire joined forces to support the work of law enforcement by offering catalytic converter engraving in additional communities across the province.
Police have seen significant decreases in catalytic converter thefts where VIN engraving programs have been implemented. Recently, Winnipeg saw a 75% decrease in thefts after they implemented their engraving program last summer.
Engraving the VIN on the vehicle’s catalytic converter and having the warning decal visible will help deter thieves and reduce the chance of it being stolen. If the auto part is stolen, police now have the means of linking it back to the crime and holding thieves and scrap metal recyclers accountable.
Catalytic converter thefts in Edmonton rose by more than 80% between 2020 and 2022, and unfortunately this crime trend is continuing in 2023.
Last year, catalytic converter theft cost Edmontonians nearly $20 million. While the thief might receive $200 for a stolen catalytic converter, the vehicle owner can be out $2,000 or more for repairs.
Superintendent McIntyre adds, “We want to make it impossible for thieves to make money from this crime of opportunity, and we are very grateful for the support of the AMA and Kal Tire in helping us address this multimillion-dollar problem.”
“This kind of collaboration and partnership will help police agencies across the province fight this crime and help citizens better protect themselves.”
For more information on the engraving program, please visit www.ama.ab.ca/TagYourCat.