Operation Goldiron: Flintshire police take part in week of action to tackle catalytic converter thefts
Officers from South Flintshire Police and across the region took part in a week of action to tackle catalytic converter thefts.
Police say they are seeing an increase in the theft of catalytic converters with Honda and Toyota vehicles being a particular target.
Precious metals such as rhodium, platinum and palladium are used in catalytic converters.
The price of these metals has risen sharply in recent years and has led to an increase in the theft of catalytic converters by organised crime networks.
A spokesperson for South Flintshire Police Team said: “Last week officers from across the force area participated in , which saw an intensive week of proactive action around the issue of Catalytic converter theft.”
“We are currently seeing an increase in the theft of catalytic converters across our force area, particularly from Japanese brands such as Honda / Toyota, and also from hybrid vehicles.”
“We did lots of crime prevention work, as well as some proactive vehicle stop checks.”
“Extra policing was undertaken in the vicinity of scrap yards – we also had conversations with the owners and we asked for their assistance moving forwards, although these car parts are often transported by criminals to other areas of the country, and even into Europe.”
“The smart water marker pens (pictured above) are used to put security details on the catalytic converter, making any seized items easier to identify.”
“As part of our proactive approach, we will check catalytic converters when stopping vehicles attending scrap yards with them, or when we are visiting scrap yards generally as part of our work with the Environment Agency.”
“Members of the public attending scrap dealers to sell metals are required to show ID and provide bank details.”
Tips for deterring catalytic converter thieves include:
- Protect your car by asking your dealer if they can give you any advice on locks or guards that are approved by the vehicle manufacturer and tested to Sold Secure Gold
- If you can, park your car in a locked garage when it is unattended – otherwise, park as close to your property as possible or in a well-lit area clearly covered by CCTV
- Try to park so that the convertor can’t be easily reached, close to a wall, a fence or tightly between other cars for example
- If you are using a car park, use a ‘Park Mark’ one to ensure that it has been assessed and approved for security
- Consider installing a Thatcham approved alarm to your car – ones that activate if your vehicle is lifted or tilted are particularly effective
- Mark your catalytic converter with a forensic marker and register your converter to make it harder for thieves to dispose of it
- If your converter is bolted on, the bolts can be welded shut – this would not stop a determined thief but would slow them down.