SUV twice targeted by catalytic-converter thieves off the road for months

SUV twice targeted by catalytic-converter thieves off the road for months

Ian Surdhar had ample of a headache to offer with after just one or additional robbers manufactured off with his vehicle’s catalytic converter in December, leaving his younger relatives without having wheels for months in the dead of winter season.

They experienced to hold out for MPI to evaluate the destruction and then for replacement components to get there.

Then it transpired all over again.

Just times after the 36-yr-previous Winnipeg father acquired his fixed SUV back in early February, the beneficial exhaust-system ingredient commonly qualified by intruders was reduce from the vehicle’s undercarriage exterior his St. Boniface residence a second time and, yet again, the family members was still left with no transportation.

“We’ve bought a a few-12 months-outdated, which indicates for (nearly) four months in the middle of winter season, not acquiring a vehicle is problematic,” Surdhar explained.

SUV twice targeted by catalytic-converter thieves off the road for months&#13

The catalytic converter in Ian Surdhar SUV was stolen 2 times this wintertime. (Ruth Bonneville / Winnipeg Free Press)

And he’s not the only annoyed sufferer. The town has seen an astronomical raise in catalytic converter theft incidents around the past 6 yrs, according to the most current offered Winnipeg Police Support studies — from 14 whole in 2015 to 1,620 in 2021, not which includes December.

The elements, which lower emissions and sounds, comprise treasured metals, such as rhodium, palladium and platinum. The $1,500-$2,000 gadgets can be marketed to unscrupulous scrap-metal dealers for hundreds of bucks.

The law enforcement information features crack-and-enters, thefts from vehicles and mischief that brought on destruction indicating intruders meant to steal the aspect. In 2014, there ended up a few crack-and-enters, 11 thefts from a car or truck and no mischief incidents. In 2021, there 28 split-and-enters, 128 mischief incidents and 1,464 thefts.

WPS spokeswoman Const. Dani McKinnon claimed part of the trouble is that there are no laws at this time in spot pertaining to sales to scrap sellers.

Surdhar, who does not want to go by way of the approach yet again, has because taken matters into his own arms and wallet, setting up a CatClamp — an aftermarket cage designed of tricky-to-slash aircraft-quality wire rope locked in excess of the converter — and parking his 2014 Hyundai Santa Fe in this sort of a way that it is near-not possible for thieves to slide beneath.

He pointed his pissed off finger at MPI.

Surdhar has installed a CatClamp, an aftermarket cage made of difficult-to-cut aircraft-grade wire rope locked over the converter. (Ruth Bonneville / Winnipeg Free Press)&#13

Surdhar has mounted a CatClamp, an aftermarket cage produced of complicated-to-minimize plane-quality wire rope locked around the converter. (Ruth Bonneville / Winnipeg No cost Push)

A spokeswoman at the public insurance company said the repair service marketplace is enduring supply-chain issues impacting the availability of auto sections, primary to prolonged delays in the procedure.

“Apparently this has been these kinds of an problem that MPI is exceptionally backed up,” Surdhar informed the Totally free Press.

“It took about a 7 days or so to tow it to the MPI compound, then it took about two months for MPI to do the evaluation on it and then it took about a different week to ship the vehicle again to the mechanic to get treatment of it, and then it took about… two months to get any sections for it.”

The next time, he received a mechanic to tow the automobile straight — MPI has only a single towing-business contract — but the repairs still took ages. The 1-car household obtained the vehicle back again a few days back.

“General, because Dec. 13, we had been without a automobile for about 3-and-a-half months,” he stated.

That still left him walking to his close by place of work, though he and his spouse had to just take their child to daycare on foot. And they used a significant volume in rental-motor vehicle costs though the Hyundai sat in the shop. Surdhar reported when he added up the value of leasing a motor vehicle just about every weekend, it would have been less expensive to spend to have the portion replaced himself.

Catalytic converter thefts are on the rise in Winnipeg. (Robert F. Bukaty / The Associated Press files)&#13


Catalytic converter thefts are on the rise in Winnipeg. (Robert F. Bukaty / The Affiliated Push documents)

The loved ones moved to Manitoba from Alberta about six years in the past, exactly where there is non-public car insurance.

“When we moved listed here, we appeared by all the various MPI possibilities for insurance plan and we made a decision not to go with loss-of-use insurance policy (which handles the price tag of motor vehicle rentals for about a thirty day period) because we figured that is likely to price tag us even so much… and if we have to lease a vehicle for a several times or a week, then so be it,” he claimed.

“We didn’t truly enjoy the reality that the method was heading to be so inefficient, that MPI was likely to be so inefficient that we’d be without a car or truck for months… in Alberta, issues occur speedily.”

The MPI spokeswoman noted the wintertime months can end result in heavier need on the towing firm the company works by using but apologized for any inconvenience that may result in. She also and verified estimated periods for tows are presently about two days for non-driveable cars.

“We have found towing situations return closer to regular service-level anticipations and we are continuing to keep an eye on the problem, but source-chain problems are, however, over and above the manage of MPI procedures,” she explained in an electronic mail.

Surdhar would like to see MPI strengthen items by rising the amount of approved repair shops and expediting the reporting approach, as nicely as making in supplemental service capability.

“You get the surge of catalytic converter thefts, or a negative snowfall, and the entire procedure collapses and there’s just no give in it,” he said.

Surdhar would also like MPI to much better inform its buyers of the danger of catalytic converter thefts, such as frequently focused vehicles, and of offered aftermarket deterrent selections.

[email protected]

Twitter: @erik_pindera

Erik Pindera

Erik Pindera
Multimedia producer

Erik Pindera is a multimedia producer at the Winnipeg No cost Press.