Advice to Basingstoke motorists after Catalytic Converter thefts at local hospital
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We would like to issue specific advice to motorists across Basingstoke after a number theft from motor vehicles, and catalytic converter thefts at North Hampshire Hospital.
The most recent incident happened between 8.55am and 6.30pm on 8 January.
These catalytic converter thefts are mainly happening during daytime hours, with Citreon and Peugeot vans or Honda and Toyota cars being targeted.
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 during 2020 and this is what we believe has contributed to the number of thefts increasing. We are seeing that 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.
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.
The local neighbourhood policing teams in your area are monitoring reports and would like to ask people to report any suspicious activity, especially when using the hospital car park.