A report of a suspicious SUV in the Shawnigan Lake area led police to the discovery of three catalytic converters believed to have been cut away from vehicles.
Shawnigan Lake RCMP received a call about 8 a.m. Dec. 3 that a Ford Explorer with no licence plates, a broken windshield and no rear window was parked in the vicinity of Garnett Road and Balsam Drive.
Officers who went to the scene identified the 34-year-old driver and his female passenger, and determined the driver had a court condition directing that he not have contact with the woman.
That led to his arrest, after which officers found a number of tools and catalytic converters in the SUV, police said. The investigation is ongoing.
Catalytic converters, which control vehicles’ exhaust emissions and reduce toxic gases and pollutants, are sometimes targeted by scrap-metal thieves who remove them with hacksaws or other sharp-bladed instruments.
The converters contain metals such as platinum and rhodium that can be sold at a profit of up to several hundred dollars per unit.
Their purchase price ranges from $200 to $1,500.