During the early morning hours of September 24, 2021 members of Medicine Hat Police Service (MHPS) Patrol Section were on patrol in the area of Gershaw Drive SW, when they observed a male underneath a vehicle.
Police attempted to speak with the male however as officers approached the male he attempted to leave the area on foot. Police were able to take the male into custody soon after without incident and the initial investigation revealed that he was attempting to steal catalytic converters.
As a result, a 43-year-old male from Hamilton, Ontario has been taken into custody for possession of break in instruments, and mischief under $5000. The male is currently held in custody awaiting a judicial interim release. Police have also located a large amount of stolen property, believed to be from across Canada and will be following up with additional charges and attempting to locate the owners of this equipment.
There has been an upward trend in thefts of catalytic converters both locally and across the province over the past couple of years, as they contain precious metals such as platinum, palladium, and rhodium. Thieves will often remove the catalytic converter by accessing it from underneath vehicles.
In 2020, the province of Alberta recognized the prevalence of this issue with the introduction of Bill 25, Protecting Alberta Industry from Theft, which resulted in amendments to the Scrap Metal Dealers and Recyclers Identification Act. The act created new regulations setting out standards for the scrap metal industry. The new regulations determine what information is collected by recyclers and is available to police. It also requires all recyclers to standardize how they report the sale of scrap metals.
If you have information about a similar offence, please contact the MHPS at 403-529-8481 or submit a tip via the website (mhps.ca) or mobile app, which is free to download and available for both Apple and Android devices.
S/Sgt Ryan Thorburn
Medicine Hat Police Service