September 20, 2022 – Press release

Catalytic Converter – Update

In 2021, vehicle accessories (including catalytic converters) replaced alcohol as the most stolen good Winnipeg Police Service 2021 Statistical Report. Over 1,700 reported thefts were reported to police in 2021, with the trend continuing into 2022.


The Winnipeg Police Service, Manitoba Justice and Crime Stoppers have all taken a multi-pronged approach to reducing the incidence of catalytic converter thefts.


As previously announced, the Winnipeg Police Service’s Property Crime Unit has launched a four month investigation called “Project Precious”. This project was named after the precious and lucrative metals that go into the composition of a catalytic converter.


As a result of this project, in June 2022, two adults associated with a Springfield scrap dealer were arrested and charged for buying and selling stolen catalytic converters.


In July, WPS arrested four other people during a traffic stop with stolen catalytic converters.


On the heels of Project Precious, the Province of Manitoba introduced a new bill requiring scrap metal dealers to follow strict rules when buying and selling certain metal products. Anyone wishing to sell such restricted items must provide government identification at the time of sale, and dealers are required to maintain accurate and up-to-date records of transactions.


The police also have the power to carry out random checks at metal dealers and enforce the new requirements of the bill.


With funding made available through Criminal Asset Forfeiture, Crime Stoppers has launched a burning initiative called “Save Your Cat”. Vehicle owners can take their vehicle to automotive service centers and have their catalytic converter engraved with the vehicle serial number (VIN) and painted with high visibility paint. This program is a deterrent to thieves, as an engraved (stolen) cat will not be accepted at a scrap metal dealer since the new provincial scrap metal law was passed.



Current statistics:













2022

Total number of catalytic converter flights

Jan

186

Feb

219

Tue

280

Apr

353

May

283

June

122

July

78

August

31

Total

1552

Thanks to the combination of Project Precious, ongoing law enforcement, the new scrap metal law, and the Crime Stoppers burning program, the number of catalytic converter thefts reported to WPS has dropped.



The Winnipeg Police Service encourages the public to stay alert when parking their vehicles. Aim for an enclosed garage and a well-lit area when possible.



For more information on the scrap metal law and the “Save Your Cat” program, follow the links below:



http://saveyourcat.ca/

Assault – Arrests: C22-216869

On September 19, at approximately 12:45 p.m., the Winnipeg Police Service responded to Sturgeon Heights Collegiate for a report of a fight involving multiple individuals.


On September 16, 2022, two young men (both students at Sturgeon Heights) were involved in a physical altercation that was not reported to police.


On September 19, the incident culminated when the two sides again became embroiled in a heated argument that culminated in an assault. The two adults (known to the youths) were also involved in the incident.


Western District General Patrol officers attended the school and found a 13-year-old man, a 16-year-old man and an adult man suffering from the effects of what is believed to be a repellent against bears. The 16-year-old also suffered upper body injuries. The second male adult involved was not injured.


Officers seized homemade “brass knuckles” from one of the adults but did not recover the repellent. The adults and the 13-year-old man were arrested without incident and neither party required medical assistance.


A 38 year old male of Winnipeg faces the following charge:
– Assault
A 13 year old young man of Winnipeg faces the following charge:
– Assault
A 36 year old male of Winnipeg faces the following charges:
– Unauthorized possession of a prohibited or restricted weapon
– Carrying a prohibited device or ammunition with a concealed weapon


All were released on recognizance under the Criminal Code.


The investigation is continuing.

Unsecured premises – Arrests: C22-216926

On September 19, 2022, Winnipeg Police Service patrolling the North End observed an unsecured location in the 300 block of College Avenue known to be vacant.


Officers from the Western District General Patrol and members of the Community Support Unit attended and located sixteen (16) intruders on the premises. All were first arrested for having been “illegally in a dwelling house”. During the search and securing of the premises, the officers located and seized the following items:


– Loaded 12 gauge semi-automatic shotgun
– Prohibited revolver loaded with erased serial number
– .22 x 8 caliber ammunition
– shotgun shells x 4


An unoccupied stolen vehicle was also found at the rear of the premises and seized.



Darnell Cole Williams, 28of Winnipeg, was charged with the following firearm offences:


– Possession of a prohibited or restricted firearm with ammunition
– Possession of a firearm knowing that the serial number has been falsified
– Storing a firearm or a restricted weapon contrary to the regulations
– Unauthorized possession of a firearm


He was taken into custody.


Additionally, officers arrested five people based on outstanding warrants from different jurisdictions.


The sixteen intruders were tipped off for being ‘illegally in a dwelling house’ at the request of the landlord before officers secured the scene.

Public Notice: C22-217722

On September 20, 2022, the Winnipeg Police Service received reports during the morning rush hour of an adult male boarding a number of transit buses and assaulting passengers. The female passengers informed the bus drivers that an unknown man grabbed their buttocks and tried to kiss them. Another victim said he was spat on as the man exited one of the buses.

Police are continuing their investigation but have not yet spoken to any victims.

The bus numbers and journey times listed below include:

– Bus 737 – Line 47- 4
Around 7:00 a.m.

– Bus 748 – Route 20-1
Around 9:30 a.m.

– Bus 152 – Line 29-1
Around 10:20 a.m.

– Bus 198 – Line 11-1
Around 10:30 a.m.

– Bus 329 – Line 21-5
Around 11:00 a.m.

– Bus 737 – Line 47-4
Around 11:30 a.m.

Anyone with information regarding these incidents is asked to contact Sex Crimes Unit investigators at 204-986-6245 or Crime Stoppers at 204-786-TIPS or 204-786-8477.


Constable Jay Murraypublic information officer
Constable Dani McKinnonpublic information officer

Constable Claude Chancypublic information officer

Kelly DehnPublic affairs manager

Office: 204-986-3061
E-mail: [email protected]

Alejandro L. Myatt