‘Almost nothing’: Number of catalytic converter thefts in Winnipeg drop

Efforts by the province to crack down on catalytic converter thefts have dropped the number of thefts in Winnipeg to ‘almost nothing.’

While speaking to the Lord Selkirk-West Kildonan Community Committee on Thursday, Insp. John Lutz, with the Winnipeg Police Service, credited recent legislation as helping to drop the thefts.

“Since we’ve had the change in the bylaw relative to scrap metal where people have to give identification and stuff, (there has been) a noticeable reduction in the catalytic converter thefts,” Lutz told the councillors on the committee.

“They have tricked down to almost nothing, I believe.”

In July, the province put new legislation, known as the Scrap Metal Act, into effect, which requires dealers to record details of their transactions related to scrap metal, keep the transaction records for two years and provide them to a peace officer when requested. 

READ MORE: New bill aimed at curbing catalytic converter thefts now in effect in Manitoba

The city had been seeing a spike in the number of catalytic converter thefts earlier this year, with hundreds being stolen each month.

The thefts hit a high in April when 353 catalytic converter thefts were reported. However, the number of thefts dropped in July when the legislation went into effect.

Winnipeg police confirmed they are seeing a drop in catalytic converter thefts across the city. Police told CTV News as of November, only 35 catalytic converter thefts had been reported.

Lutz told the committee he plans to continue to monitor the thefts to see what else is being impacted by the provincial scrap metal legislation.

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