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Quebec Police Charge Man for Steeling 60 Catalytic Converters From Parked Cars

Kitco News

(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.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and may not reflect those of Kitco Metals Inc. The author has made every effort to ensure accuracy of information provided; however, neither Kitco Metals Inc. nor the author can guarantee such accuracy. This article is strictly for informational purposes only. It is not a solicitation to make any exchange in commodities, securities or other financial instruments. Kitco Metals Inc. and the author of this article do not accept culpability for losses and/ or damages arising from the use of this publication.