Catalytic converter thefts down 61% on previous week in Hampshire
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Hampshire Constabulary joined police forces across the UK last week to take action against catalytic converter theft.
During the week of April 19 to April 25, we made two arrests in connection with catalytic converter theft and visited 14 scrap metal sites. We also ensured communities were aware of how to protect their vehicle from this kind of theft by disseminating crime prevention advice.
Following this week of action, catalytic converter theft fell by 61% in comparison to the previous week (April 12 – April 18).
Catalytic converters clean harmful gases before they exit a vehicle's exhaust pipe and are stolen for the precious metal they contain. These metals have surged in value recently, leading to organised crime networks to commit more offences.
Cat converters on hybrid Hondas and Toyotas are particularly vulnerable because their converters are cleaner and therefore the valuable metals contained within them are less likely to corrode. They are also easier to access on hybrid vehicles.
We often see organised crime groups operate across county borders, which is why it was so important to carry out synchronised action with all other UK police forces.
You can see here how all UK police forces and partners worked together during this week of action to get results and drive down this crime More than a thousand stolen catalytic converters recovered following national crackdown (npcc.police.uk)
It’s important to remain vigilant and understand that catalytic converters can be stolen within a few minutes by using just a few basic tools, but there are ways you can protect your vehicle if, like many people, you don’t have access to a garage:
- Find out where your cat converter is located on your car; if it’s at the front of your car, park with the bonnet towards a wall if possible
- If it’s at the back, park it with your exhaust to the wall
- If parking in a public car park, consider parking alongside other cars and incorporating wall
- Avoid parking your vehicle half on the pavement and half on the road, as this may make it easier for get under your car
- If your catalytic converter is bolted on, you can ask for your local garage to weld the bolts to make it more difficult to remove
- Alternatively, you can also etch a serial number on the converter so that if it is stolen and then recovered, we can get your car converter back to you
- You can even purchase a ‘cage clamp’ which is a cage device that locks in around the converter to make it more difficult to remove
- Speak to your dealership or garage about the possibility of adding a tilt sensor that will activate the alarm should any thief try to jack the vehicle up to steal the converter
- If you see someone acting suspiciously under a vehicle, report it. Obtain as much information as possible, including any vehicle registrations
In the event your cat converter is stolen, please report online via our website https://www.hampshire.police.uk/ro/report/ocr/af/how-to-report-a-crime/ and include any markings so that we can identify your converter if it’s recovered
We recognise the impact catalytic converter theft has on victims, that’s why we will continue to focus on catalytic converter theft and ensure that this low risk/ high-reward crime is relentlessly targeted, and offenders are brought to justice.
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