Police warn about catalytic converter thefts

Published: Thursday 17th April 14

Car owners are being advised to be on the lookout for thieves who are stealing catalytic converters from parked cars.

Yesterday (Wednesday) two cars had this equipment stolen from their vehicles in Putney. The thieves are believed to have crawled underneath the cars and removed the catalytic converters which are attached to the exhaust system and designed to reduce harmful emissions.

Police say they are being targeted by thieves because they contain high-value precious metals like platinum, palladium and rhodium.

Larger vehicles like 4x4s are often targeted because they have a higher ground clearance and this make it easier for the thieves to work underneath them.

To reduce the risk of theft drivers should:

  • Garage their car whenever possible
  • Park in well-lit busy areas or where there is good CCTV coverage
  • Look out for people working under cars
  • Consider marking or engraving the metal shell of the converter with the vehicle’s registration number so that it can be traced if removed by thieves
  • Purchase a specially designed catalytic converter anti-theft device, which are now being marketed to combat this trend.

If anyone spots suspicious activity and believes that thieves are trying to steal car parts they should call the police straight away.

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