Attempted theft of car parts to blame for Coquitlam car fires: police
Published Thursday, July 11, 2019 8:08AM PDT
Last Updated Thursday, July 11, 2019 2:09PM PDT
Coquitlam RCMP believe a fire that destroyed two cars overnight may have been started by the attempted theft of catalytic converters.
Neighbours told CTV they heard a loud noise around 3:30 a.m. on Riverwood Gate, near Riverside Drive and say when they looked outside they saw two vehicles parked on the street in flames.
For a few moments, some residents were concerned the fire was big enough to spread to a home next door but firefighters managed to put the flames out quickly once they arrived.
Port Coquitlam Fire say even though they receive reports of car fires quite often, it was unusual that two cars would be on fire at the same time.
RCMP have taken over the investigation and say witness statements and video evidence leads them to believe the fire was started by thieves trying to steal catalytic converters.
Police are now looking for a dark, older model sedan and four suspects seen taking off from the area. One of the suspects is described as being tall, lanky and wearing a grey hoodie and a headlamp.
The theft of catalytic converters requires thieves get underneath vehicles, and often involves the use of a reciprocating saw, but the crime isn’t entirely unusual in Metro Vancouver.
The stolen parts, which are part of a vehicle’s exhaust system, are often sold for scrap.
In June, Delta Police arrested two men with a power saw allegedly trying to steal a catalytic converter from a vehicle on Derwent Way. Police in Delta have recently noticed an uptick in the thefts, specifically near Annacis Island and in North Delta.
Mounties say it's too early to tell if this latest incident is related to any other catalytic converter thefts in Metro Vancouver.