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 help clean your car’s exhaust emissions using chemical reactions with precious metals. Unfortunately due these manifolds having a very high value thefts are common and the manifold can be quickly cut and stolen in minutes
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