Cops cancel Mississauga pop-up on how to protect valuable car part from crafty crooks


Published March 3, 2023 at 5:53 pm

A Saturday pop-up in Mississauga to show car owners how to better protect their vehicles from crafty crooks in search of a specific and valuable car part has been cancelled.

The Peel Regional Police March 4 session, one of two planned on Saturdays this month at the City of Mississauga transportation and works facility (3185 Mavis Rd.), was scrubbed earlier today (March 3) by police.

While cops didn’t say on their Twitter post why the session was called off, it may simply have been in anticipation of the major winter storm expected to hit Mississauga and the GTA tonight and into Saturday.

The other session, slated for March 25, is still a go, according to police.

Police haven’t said if a second session, geared towards showing car owners ways in which to protect their vehicles’ catalytic converters, will be added.

In what has become a popular crime for crooks in recent years, culprits are stealing catalytic converters from cars and turning the part into potentially big bucks on the black market.

Catalytic converters are part of a vehicle’s exhaust system that reduces polluting emissions. Thieves target the parts because they’re made of precious metals like palladium, platinum and rhodium, and can be turned into big money–potentially millions of dollars–in a relatively short period of time.

Peel police want to use the pop-up events to highlight new theft-deterrent techniques specific to catalytic converters.

One anti-theft technique being pushed by police is the etching of the vehicle’s licence plate marker into the catalytic converter so it’s traceable by cops, if found.

A couple of people responding to the police tweet cancelling the March 4 session expressed disappointment.

“Why cancel if thieves are targeting catalytic converters,” wondered one commenter. “We had ours stolen Wednesday morning in Peel.”

Those who attend the March 25 session, which runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., will have their licence plate markers etched free of charge onto the valuable car part.

Peel police and cops across Canada and the U.S. have seen a dramatic rise in thefts of catalytic converters in recent years.

Looking to make quick and good money, thieves have been more active in stealing the car part from vehicles across the region, Peel cops note.

Catalytic converters are relatively easy to remove from cars in about a minute. Additionally, they often lack serial numbers, making them difficult to trace once removed from the car.

Some of the precious metals are more valuable than gold, and their value has been increasing, reports from the U.S. indicate. Catalytic converters can cost more than $1,000 each on the black market, according to the U.S. Department of Justice, which busted a huge catalytic converter theft ring last November.

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