Surrey Council Toughens Bylaws to Tackle Catalytic Converter Thefts
During its Regular Council Meeting Monday, Surrey City Council approved amendments to its Scrap Metal By-law to curb the theft of catalytic converters.
Surrey, BC – During its Regular Council Meeting Monday, Surrey City Council approved amendments to its Scrap Metal By-law to curb the theft of catalytic converters. The approved bylaw amendments limit the circumstances under which catalytic converters may be resold; create ticketable offences should businesses purchase catalytic converters contrary to City bylaws; and include a significant increase to the maximum fine from $10,000 to $50,000. The changes also modernize how information about transactions regulated by the Scrap Metal By-law must be transmitted to the police.
“I am pleased to announce these changes that will help drive down catalytic converter thefts,” said Mayor Brenda Locke. “Thefts of catalytic converters have increased over the past four years in the City and across the region resulting in considerable costs to individuals, businesses and insurers. In fact, catalytic converter thefts made up 45% of all reported thefts from vehicles in Surrey last year, and stealing a catalytic converter can take less than one minute. I am pleased to be partnering with the Surrey RCMP on this strategy to help deter thieves and reduce thefts.”
The approved bylaw amendments include that a Scrap Metal Dealer must not enter into a Transaction for a catalytic converter from any person unless:
- it is attached to the exhaust system of a vehicle and the entire vehicle is the subject of a Transaction;
- it is etched with the vehicle identification number (VIN) of the vehicle from which it was removed and the Seller of the catalytic converter is the registered owner of that vehicle, as shown in ICBC documents; or
- it is etched with the VIN of the vehicle from which it was removed and the Seller of the catalytic converter is licensed as an automotive repair business
Changes to the City’s Scrap Metal By-law were developed with input from the Surrey RCMP. The City has also partnered with Surrey RCMP on the recently launched “Your Etch It. We Catch It.” campaign that will allow people to have their VIN etched onto their catalytic converter free of charge when they are having other servicing completed at participating businesses throughout the city. This distinctive marking will make it easier to identify a catalytic converter as stolen and connect it to a victim, while also acting as a potential deterrent for thieves.