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Mill Bay man worried by Grand Theft Auto-style catalytic converter theft

Breghman Dolan’s car was chained to a truck, towed and flipped over outside George Bonner Elementary
Breghman Dolan’s car was totalled in the incident, leaving him waiting for his insurance claim to be filed. (Courtesy of Breghman Dolan)

A bizarre catalytic converter theft has a Mill Bay man worried about crime in his community.

Breghman Dolan awoke the morning of Nov. 8 to find his car wasn’t by the farmstand at the end of his property on Cobble Hill Road. Somebody, during the night, had chained his Toyota Prius to their truck and towed it behind them, weaving haphazardly along until Dolan’s car flipped over in the parking lot of George Bonner Elementary School. There, someone cut off the catalytic converter from the back of Dolan’s car and left it flipped over in the parking lot.

Dolan had heard tires squealing during the night but assumed it was just “kids being kids” and then in the morning started calling towing companies when his car wasn’t where he’d parked it. They couldn’t release any information as the issue was being investigated by police.

Initially, struggling to get answers from Shawnigan Lake RCMP, Dolan described the whole process as frustrating. After a week, he was told they weren’t investigating as there were no leads. A neighbour had caught the incident on a home security camera, but the footage was erased before police could access it.

“Just like any other investigation, any files that deal with public safety (life or death scenarios) will take priority,” Cpl. Alex Berube, a spokesperson for the RCMP, said in an email. “Files will be dispatched on a priority basis based on different factors (life or death, whether or not it is in progress, etc.). Files are investigated until all venues have been explored. A file will usually conclude when there are no further means to investigate and no suspects have been identified.”

Berube added there were about seven thefts of catalytic converters in the last year in the Mill Bay area.

“They don’t want to get people afraid and worried but people should be aware,” said Dolan.

The car was a write-off with backlogs at ICBC meaning it’ll be a while before Dolan can complete his claim to have it replaced. He works days in Victoria and his partner works nights in Duncan which can be tricky to navigate with one car. But the thing Dolan is more worried about is the safety issues for the neighbours nearby and the fact the crime happened right near an elementary school.

“Clearly they were lacking regard for other people, they didn’t care if they got caught,” said Dolan. “They’re playing Grand Theft Auto in real life.”

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