An attempted car parts theft is believed to be the cause of two vehicle fires that began early this morning in Port Coquitlam.
On Thursday morning, at approximately 3:30 am, the Coquitlam RCMP and the Coquitlam Fire Department received reports of two cars on fire in the 1000 block of Riverside Drive, near an elementary school and a local park.
Although the investigation is new, police say that witness statements and video footage support the theory that the fires were started by thieves attempting to steal catalytic converters.
A catalytic converter is a car part that uses a catalyst to convert the harmful chemicals of a car into less toxic compounds, making vehicles more environmentally friendly. Because converters have precious metals, however, they’re typically more expensive and a valuable part to strip.
The Coquitlam RCMP are now looking for a dark, older-model sedan that was seen driving away with four males inside.
One suspect is described as a tall, lanky male with a grey hoodie; another suspect was wearing a headlamp.
RCMP say in a press release that it’s too early to tell if this case is related to other catalytic converter thefts.