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Spate of catalytic converter thefts

28 Jan 2020

We are urging the public to be vigilant following a recent spate of catalytic converter thefts.

In the past week there have been 15 reported thefts of catalytic converters in Cambridge, Longstanton and Bar Hill, with thieves predominantly targeting Toyotas and Hondas in public car parks during daylight hours.

Catalytic converters are found in the exhaust system of every car and reduce the output of toxic gases and pollutants. Stealing them has become popular because they aren’t easily identifiable and can be sold on for the precious metals found inside them.

Motorists can take the following precautions to help prevent them from becoming a victim:

  • Park close to fences, walls or a kerb with the exhaust being closest to the fence, wall or kerb to make theft more difficult.
  • Invest in a catalytic converter lock, which can be fitted retrospectively and physically locks the converter to the vehicle, thereby preventing a quick and easy removal. Contact your local Toyota or Honda dealer for more information.
  • If your catalytic converter is bolted on, consider having the bolts welded to make removal difficult.
  • Mark your catalytic converter with a marking and registration system – some examples are: http://www.retainagroup.com/theisr.html and https://www.selectamark.co.uk/security-marking/cat-marking-kit. This will not protect against theft, but will act as a deterrent, assist in returning property and help bring offenders to justice.
  • If you park on your driveway then consider purchasing a video doorbell – ring.com and/or a driveway alarm that will alert you to suspicious activity.

Sgt Emma Hilson said: “We are seeing a clear trend in the vehicles which thieves are targeting, particularly at park and ride sites.

“I’m urging motorists to not only take precautions with their own vehicles to make it harder for thieves, but to also be on the lookout for suspicious behaviour and report it to us.”

Anyone with information should contact police on 101 or 999 if a crime is in progress.

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