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CATALYTIC  CONVERTER

Warning to residents as more than four catalytic converters stolen every day in Cambridgeshire.
 

The police are warning people not to approach the catalytic converter thieves as "they have been known to be violent in the past and may even be carrying weapons" but instead call 999 if they see any suspicious behaviour

Catalytic converters are essential components in traditional gasoline-powered vehicles, helping to reduce harmful emissions. With the rise of electric cars, the need for catalytic converters may decrease. However, they still play a crucial role in other machinery, such as garden machinery. Learn more about their importance and impact.

Norfolk Constabulary has said more than 100 such thefts have been carried out so far this year, compared to a total of 12 in 2019 and 165 in 2022.

The majority of thefts had been reported in public car parks during the day but more recently there have been incidents in residential streets and driveways at night.

Data also shows some cars are more popular than others among thieves, with Toyotas and Hondas being the most targeted.

WHAT CAN WE DO TO REDUCE THE PROBLEM

Mark your converter

You can ask your dealer or garage to add a serial number to your catalytic converter and ask for advice

Surge in crime

The popularity of hybrid cars has contributed to a surge in crime. Why hybrid cars and vans are more likely to be stolen because they sit higher from the ground

Boost your security

Invest in sturdy garage doors-cctv system, and security lighting overlooking your drive. Thefts can cost £1,500 and could write off your vehicle

Information you may like to consider

Not all cars are at risk, with some models having the catalytic converter mounted within the engine bay. This makes it much harder to steal. Drivers should check with their local dealership if they are unsure. 

The Metropolitan Police has a published advice on reducing the risk of your cat being stolen. The tips include:

  • Park your car in a locked garage overnight

  • Try to park in a location that is well-lit and overlooked

  • Avoid mounting your car on the kerb, as it gives thieves easier access

  • Install CCTV to cover where your car is parked

  • Mark your catalytic converter with a forensic marker, which can make it harder to sell on

  • Speak to a car dealer about a tilt sensor that activates an alarm if a thief tries to jack up your vehicle

Security marking a catalytic converter

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REPLY FROM ONE LOCAL AREA

One police force has been prioritising car crime recently. It’s resulted in over 100 illegal garages, nicknamed chop-shops, shut down by officers and hundreds of stolen cars returned to their owners since the start of 2022. In response to the surge in car crime, the Commissioner has also pledged to tackle this head on with future campaigns targeting manufacturers, auction sites and law makers to help those within their area who are victims of car crime.       July 2023  

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