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Catalytic Converter Thefts

Saturday, May 22nd, 2021

We read almost every day about cagtalytic converter thefts – this is driven by the value of the precious metals within the converters.

Vehicles that sit high above the road are particularly vulnerable, and hybrid vehicles are a particular target, as their metals are more valuable.

Preventing Catalytic Converter Theft

Advice on preventing catalytic converter theft is included on Thames Valley Police’s page on catalytic converter theft. This includes:

  • ask your car dealer for advice on locks or guards that are approved by the vehicle manufacturer and tested to Sold Secure Gold standard;
  • 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;
  • register your converter and mark it with a forensic marker, which will make it harder for thieves to dispose of.

In respect of the last point (registering/marking converters), Thames Valley Police’s Neighbourhood team has been proactively conducting a pilot scheme, providing a number of kits to MOT stations in the Amersham and Chesham area. A similar process will be undertaken in South Bucks shortly. There is only a finite supply of such kits, but the hope is that the initiative will make motorists and garages more familiar with the process and benefits of marking.

View Catalytic Converter Theft page on Thames Valley Police website

The video below shows a theft being carried out. It takes only a minute.

View catalytic Converter Theft page on Crimestoppers website

Reporting Catalytic Converter Theft

Thames Valley Police advice on reporting catalytic converter theft is as follows:

  • if the crime is happening now call 999 – if you are unsure, we’d rather hear about it and decide if a theft is occurring.
  • if it is safe to do so, take photos of suspects or the number plate of their car (BUT do not approach suspects, as they have been known to use violence).
  • if the crime has already happened then you can report it online, via the 101 service or at a police station.

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