'These guys keep coming back': Catalytic converter theft caught on camera in Edmonton
EDMONTON -- A day after police said catalytic converter thefts were on the rise in Edmonton, a local man shared surveillance footage of one such theft in action.
Since October, 320 catalytic converters have been reported stolen in Edmonton, police said. Southeast Edmonton has had the most thefts with 69.
"This is the highest level in some time," Edmonton Police Service spokesperson Scott Pattison told CTV News Edmonton.
Brent Moellering says these thefts have been going on for a while. Moellering told CTV News Edmonton thieves stole two converters from a van at his work last year and the one part from his pickup truck in June.
Surveillance video shows an SUV parking beside Moellering's truck behind his north Edmonton home. A man is seen calmly going back and forth between both vehicles with tools before he seemingly removes the converter and drives away.
"You're outraged. I had basically just come home like 10 minutes before that," Moellering said. "Broad daylight and the guy doing it did not care. He was taking his time, took his time to change the batteries on his Sawzall and was never in a rush, obviously not too afraid of getting caught."
He says he reported the theft to police and showed them the video, but he wasn’t happy with their response.
"They said they heard and that they'd gotten that licence plate reported before, but there's still nothing they can do," Moellering said.
Instead, Moellering says he's had to rely on his security system, camera and motion lights.
"These guys keep coming back. They don't really care. I guess the money's too good for them."
According to Moellering, catalytic converters are being sold for as much as $750, and he paid approximately $600 to fix his vehicle.
Apparent catalytic converter theft caught on camera
Jared Loseth's roommate heard what sounded like a buzzsaw early Thursday morning. She alerted Loseth, who had his catalytic converter stolen outside their home in the area of 101 Street and 114 Avenue about a week ago, and he went outside.
Loseth saw a man underneath a car in the parking lot of the apartment complex across his duplex. Video shows him approaching the vehicle, tapping the thief with a broomstick and saying, "What's going on?... You guys want to explain what's going on?"
The two thieves can then be seen walking away.
"The first thing I thought was, 'Oh, these guys may be aggressive because they got caught in the act, but I guess I do have a little bit of history of self defence. I am a secondary black belt in karate, so I've learned to keep myself calm in situations like that," Loseth told CTV News Edmonton.
Loseth reported last week's theft and Thursday morning's attempted theft to police. He's frustrated he's going to have to spend a few hundred dollars to get his vehicle fixed, so he decided to do something about it this time and help his neighbours.
"Seeing somebody else is going to be going through the same thing I might as well hopefully put a stop to it so they at least don't take these person's car and they are out $300 or something."
Pattison advises Edmontonians not to confront thieves if they encounter one. He also said having a surveillance or dash cam and parking in a well-lit area or in a garage helps prevent thefts.
With files from CTV News Edmonton's Nicole Weisberg