Niche thieves cop it sweet for catalytic convertor crimes

Wednesday 16 June, 2021

Three men have been arrested following a targeted SAPOL operation that investigated a series of crimes involving the theft of catalytic convertors from cars.

Catalytic convertors reduce toxic gases produced by car engines and are contained within vehicle exhaust systems.

SAPOL officers working the case conducted a search at an Elizabeth Vale house during April 2021, uncovering 20 vehicle exhaust systems (all missing catalytic convertors), a stolen vehicle and 15 different SA registration plates.

SAPOL says one set of registration plates is linked to separate serious criminal trespass and theft offences.

A 39-year-old Elizabeth Vale man was arrested and charged with illegal interference, property damage and unlawful possession.

A 32-year-old Elizabeth Vale man and 37-year-old Burton man were arrested and charged with illegal interference, theft and breach of bail.

Police Minister Vincent Tarzia said the Marshall Liberal Government’s $23.6 million State Budget 2021-22 announcement – funding an additional 114 Protective Security Officers and supporting the ongoing employment of a further 54 – will free up more resources for frontline investigations.

“Once again SAPOL has delivered exceptional results, keeping South Australians safe and secure by stamping out criminal activity in the community,” Minister Tarzia said.

“More SAPOL officers will be deployed back to the frontline in coming months and means our dedicated men and women in blue can take the hammer to crime and reduce rates even further on the beat.

“South Australia is a safe place to live, work and raise a family. We’ve seen dramatic drops in crime since 2018 and SAPOL’s capability to police has been significantly boosted with an extra 240 officers funded by the Marshall Government since February 2020.”

SAPOL’s successful catalytic convertor bust contributed to a 3,545-offence reduction in Theft from Motor Vehicles, highlighted in the latest crime statistics released today.

SAPOL’s April crime data has revealed, once again, significant drops in offences across a range of categories, including the overall long-term crime trend, which is 18.6% (22,587 offences) lower than it was 10 years ago.

Offences Against Person/Property decreased by 23,987, Serious Criminal Trespass dipped by 5,246 incidents, while Theft and Related Offences dropped by 17,152 crimes when compared to the previous rolling year.

Almost 3,000 fewer Thefts from Shop were recorded in April while Robbery and Related Offences dropped 28%.

Further decreases were recorded for Property Damage and Environmental crimes and Other Offences Against the Person.

A minor 5% rise in Total Offences Against the Person is a result of legislative and system changes to the recording of particular offences within the category. It does not reflect an actual increase in offending.

The Marshall Government – the first South Australian Government to directly fund Crime Stoppers SA – remains committed to securing a safe community and encourages all South Australians to join in the fight against lawbreaking.

You can make a difference by reporting suspicious activity to Crime Stoppers SA on 1800 333 000 or make a report online at

The great support Crime Stoppers SA delivers to SAPOL helped Eyre Western Local Service Area officers dismantle a drug setup on April 13.

Information received via Crime Stoppers led SAPOL to a Whyalla Norrie home where 26 cannabis plants, cannabis seeds, cannabis oil and implements used to consume cannabis were uncovered.

A 54-year-old man was reported for drug related offences.