Quebec Police Charge Man for Steeling 60 Catalytic Converters From Parked Cars
(Kitco News) - It’s not just investors who are trying to cash in on higher palladium prices.
Wednesday Quebec police announced that last month they arrested a man suspected of stealing catalytic converters from 60 vehicles over the last four months.
According to reports, Roger Blanchette was charged with theft, mischief and procession of burglary tools; he was arrested July 25 and remains in custody ahead of his first court appearance Aug. 22.
The police said that Blanchette targeted mostly Hyundais and Kias, that were parked in lots located close to public transit hubs in the Montreal, Quebec area. The thefts took place between April and July, the police added.
The report said that the accused would slide under the vehicle and in just a few seconds remove the catalytic converter, which contains palladium. The precious metal is a critical component, which is used to reduce harmful emission in gasoline-powered engines.
Palladium has been the best performing asset in the precious metals sector and for a few weeks this summer was more valuable than gold. Last month, palladium futures rallied to an all-time high of $1,600.50 an ounce.
While down sharply from last month’s highs, palladium prices are up nearly 24% since the start of the year. September palladium futures last traded at $1,479.30 an ounce, down 0.66% on the day.
Although optimism is strong within the palladium markets, some analysts expect that last month’s high could mark the peak in prices. Weak global economic growth is expected to weigh on car sales, which is the main source of demand for palladium.
Although palladium might have peaked, analysts are not expecting to see a significant drop in prices, which means catalytic converters will remain a valuable vehicle components.
Quebec policy advise car owners to park their cars in areas that are fenced in, well-lit and scanned by security cameras. The policy also recommend that motorists purchase protective plates for the underside of their vehicles.