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Darren Boyer, July 19 2022

Four Mistakes Leading to Catalytic Converters Being Stolen

Tens of thousands of catalytic converter thefts are taking place every year. These thefts cost the victim hundreds of dollars or more. 

◼️ The Winnipeg Free Press in an article on Jul 13 expects Catalytic Converter thefts to increase 240% in 2022, costing insurers and ultimately vehicle owners in Manitoba, over $7,500,000 this year.
◼️ ICBC in BC reported the costs of claims were over $4Million in 2021
◼️ Calgarians were experiencing over 3 thefts every day in 2021 according to a Global News article.

It amazes me to watch the complex convoluted methods being tried to stop catalytic converter thefts.

Really it comes down to four common mistakes property owners make that open the door to this kind of crime.

𝗪𝗿𝗼𝗻𝗴 𝗪𝗮𝘆 🛑

The wrong way to deal with this kind of threat is to call the police about seeing something suspicious several hours after it took place.  Waiting is a mistake that gives criminals the impression ‘no one cares around here’.

It takes just seconds to steal many types of converters. Giving potential criminals a head start of several hours to get away does not give law enforcement the ability to create effective deterrence.

I'll outline why a lack of warnings prior to most thefts is key to stopping this kind of crime a little later.

𝗢𝗹𝗱 𝗪𝗮𝘆 ⚠️

Putting a text message out to a local community group has the following problems.

▪️ The information may not be delivered to everyone nearby. Getting this message requires being a member of the right group. If the criminals cross a groups boundaries the person affected won’t be notified.
▪️ Too many notifications create an impossibly large amount of information to manage. In some groups we’ve estimated, if a user spends just 1.5 seconds for every notification, they will need to devote 90 minutes every week to constantly check notices. This kind of time requirement is unrealistic for most people. This partly explains why community engagement is often very low.
▪️ A lack of oversight creates too many comments that aren’t helpful and that often turn toxic further driving community minded people away. 

𝗘𝗳𝗳𝗲𝗰𝘁𝗶𝘃𝗲 𝗪𝗮𝘆 🆗

Putting an alert of suspicious activity on Lightcatch can warn others nearby to be vigilant. If several people confirm seeing the same activity it can make it much easier for the police to send resources to help prevent crime before it happens.

𝗕𝗲𝘁𝘁𝗲𝗿 𝗪𝗮𝘆 🟢

◽ Placing an alert on Lightcatch with clear video of something suspicious escalates the urgency of the situation and provides the clear proof many people need to see, before they get involved.
◽ Adding clear images simplifies how quickly people in the community can be involved.
◽ Doing this within 30 minutes of seeing something suspicious allows everyone nearby to provide helpful information.When police are able to pull over a vehicle while it is still scoping property there is a much stronger message to potential criminals they are being watched. 

𝗕𝗲𝘀𝘁 𝗪𝗮𝘆 ㊙️ Clean Home Security

Most homes do not have an effective way of warning them a thief is on their property before a crime occurs. Having a clean home security system can protect catalytic converters from being stolen even while the homeowners are sleeping. 

This is an outline of how this type of home security works.

◻️ An alarm event should take place the second someone enters a property.
◻️ That event reaches a call centre which can contact the property owners or people on the property owners escalation list immediately.
◻️ Once someone has been contacted, their first responsibility is to view their security cameras and verify if the alarm is real or not.
◻️ If the alarm is real and a vehicle is trespassing their should be a loud audio alarm go off. 911 should be called.
◻️ Two way audio from the video camera describes the intruder and lets them know police are on the way. The loud siren and the likelihood of police lights appearing are some of the best deterrence methods there are.
◻️ Colour video and images are then circulated to the police, on Lightcatch and on social media all within five minutes of trespassing, 

The criminal is likely to feel that trying crime in that area is really hard. That is the perfect outcome.

𝗕𝗼𝘁𝘁𝗼𝗺 𝗟𝗶𝗻𝗲

Catalytic converter thefts, and most other types of crime, can be effectively stopped before it even takes place at any home that applies these principles. 

When property owners immediately communicate in a way that says ‘I am going to do everything I can to help keep our community safe.’ this enables others to get involved in a way that uses much less time and energy on their part. Together, the effectiveness of the message becomes multiplied to the point thefts like this are impossible. 

Even though these converters only take seconds to steal the criminal is present and visible prior to the crime, the evidence of the crime, and the vehicle used to escape can all be clearly identified using the right technology. The technology to bring a home up to a state of clean home security is affordable, especially when compared to the risks and potential costs of crime.

To see where your property may have gaps criminals could use to get away with crime I’ve created a free quiz - score.lightcatch.net

An MLA in Manitoba is among many who is proposing an elaborate expensive scheme to stop this kind of crime. Tomorrow I'll post why this is such a bad idea and how it is possible to learn lessons from the past proving it is a bad idea.

Written by

Darren Boyer

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