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Officers in the New Forest are warning local residents to be vigilant after a number of catalytic converter thefts from vehicles across the district in recent weeks.
During this time, we have recorded catalytic converter thefts in Poulner (Ringwood) as well as New Milton and Lymington.
Catalytic converter theft is closely linked to prices of Rhodium and Palladium which are contained within the converters. The prices of these metals have increased since 2020 and this is what we believe has contributed to the number of thefts increasing.
They can be stolen within a few minutes by using just a few basic tools.
However, there are ways you can protect your vehicle if, like many people, you don’t have access to a garage:
• Find out where your catalytic 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
Our local neighbourhood policing teams in the New Forest are continuing to monitor reports and would like to ask local residents to report any suspicious activity to us directly by calling 101, or by reporting it to us via our online reporting tool on the Hampshire Constabulary website.
As always, if a crime is in progress, please dial 999.