The BC Prosecution Services has approved charges against two men following a Vancouver Police project to target catalytic converter thieves.
Beginning in July, VPD’s Property Crime Unit launched a project into two prolific catalytic converter theft suspects who they believed were responsible for numerous reported thefts throughout the city, states a recent VPD release.
“Catalytic converter thefts have become an ongoing problem in Vancouver, costing car owners thousands of dollars in repairs,” says Constable Tania Visintin, VPD. “Over the last seven days, there were 18 reported catalytic converter thefts in Vancouver alone.”
Tyson Fust, 27, and Richard Mantler, 50, have both been charged with one count of theft and one count of mischief. While Fust has no prior criminal charges, Mantler has charges spanning almost 20 years.
Most of Mantler’s charges involve operating a motor vehicle while prohibited but in 2003 he was charged for failure to stop at an accident with a person and the assault of a peace officer.
“In addition to the thefts, investigative techniques revealed these two suspects were also stealing license plates and using weapons, such as bear spray, during the commission of the offences,” adds Visintin. “Detectives continue to investigate with hopes to link these two men to other thefts.”
Catalytic converters are a part of a vehicle's exhaust system and are meant to reduce pollutants. They are targeted for theft because of the precious metals that are part of the filter system.