Posted: Fri 11th Feb 2022

Warning issued to motorists over catalytic converter thefts

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Friday, Feb 11th, 2022

North Wales Police is urging drivers to remain alert to the risk of catalytic converter thefts. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

The devices are commonly fitted to vehicle exhausts to reduce the amount of dangerous gases emitted. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

They are often targeted by thieves as they contain valuable metals and can be removed in less than a minute. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Det Chief Insp Alun Oldfield said: “As a Force, we are still seeing too many reported thefts of catalytic converters. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

“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. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

“January has already seen a surge in the price of Rhodium, which is likely to fuel certain organised crime networks to commit more offences. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

“Hybrid cars are often commonly targeted by thieves, as their catalytic converters can contain more precious metals. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

“Although some vehicle models are more likely to be targeted by thieves, we would emphasise that all vehicles equipped with these devices are at risk.” ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

North Wales Police has released the following advice explaining the signs of a catalytic converter theft, the actions you should take if you witness a theft, and how you can protect your own vehicle from thieves: ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Spotting the signs ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

  • Thieves slide under the vehicle, often using a car jack, and use cutting tools to remove the catalytic converter.

What to do if you witness a catalytic converter theft ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

  • If the crime is in progress, call 999. People are often unsure if what they are witnessing is a catalytic converter theft, but police would rather hear about it and decide if a theft is occurring.
  • Do not approach suspects but, if it is safe to do so, take note of them or the number plate of their car.
  • If the crime has already happened then you can report it to us online or at your local police station

How can I protect my vehicle from this type of theft? ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

  • Drivers can forensically mark their catalytic converters and register their converter to make it harder for thieves to dispose of the devices.
  • Registering on the national database helps police identify whether recovered catalytic converters are stolen, thereby increasing the risk of detection to thieves.
  • Ask your car dealership for advice on locks or guards that are approved by the vehicle manufacturer and tested to Sold Secure Gold standards.
  • Try to ensure your vehicle is parked in a garage overnight or, if you have a commercial vehicle, park it in a secure compound.
  • Alternatively, park your car in a way that makes it difficult for thieves to access the undercarriage.
  • North Wales Police advise parking close to a wall or fence and somewhere well-lit and overlooked, amongst as many cars as possible.
  • Vehicles that sit high above the road are particularly vulnerable
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