Catalytic converter thefts are happening in your area and it’s best to learn how to spot one and how to protect your vehicle.
This particular crime frequently occurs in car parks but they can happen anywhere, even on private driveways.
Thieves target parked cars, most commonly Hybrid cars as their metals are more valuable, but any vehicle can be at risk.
Criminals target the precious metal fitted underneath, known as a car’s catalytic converter. This is the part of the car which reduces the amount of dangerous gases emitted. Without it, the car doesn’t work properly and may not be legal to drive on the road due to the emissions being released.
What does a catalytic converter crime look like?
A catalytic converter crime happens very quickly so it’s important to look out for the key signs to know what to do.
Thieves are quick and there will usually be more than one person carrying out the crime together. Whilst one-person spot checks around the vehicle, the other will jack up the car to get underneath and cut out the metal. You will see fast movement and hear loud drilling sounds from the metal grinder.
It’s crucial for the police to hear about the crimes as soon as they are happening. Your 999 calls to us make a difference.
What should I do if I see one happening?
You should ring 999 if you...
See a vehicle being raised using a car jack in a car park or residential area
Hear a loud drilling or cutting sound coming from underneath the vehicle
Notice suspicious behaviour around or underneath a car
How do I prevent myself from becoming a victim?
To keep your catalytic converter safe, you can ask your car dealer for advice on locks or guards that are approved by the vehicle manufacturer and tested to Sold Secure Gold.
Alternatively, try to make sure your vehicle is parked in a garage overnight, or if you have a commercial vehicle, park it in a secure compound. If this isn’t possible, park in an area that’s well-lit and overlooked and try to park so that the converter can’t be easily reached by potential thieves. Vehicles that sit high above the road are particularly vulnerable.
You should also register your converter and mark it with a forensic marker, which will make it harder for thieves to dispose of.