Advice to Basingstoke residents following recent catalytic converter thefts
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Officers in Basingstoke are asking residents to be vigilant following a number of catalytic converter thefts from vehicles across the district in recent weeks.
Since 1 February, we have recorded seven catalytic converter thefts in Baughurst, Silchester, Tadley and Kingsclere.
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 over recent years and this is what we believe has contributed to the number of thefts increasing.
Catalytic converters 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 a wall
Avoid parking your vehicle half on the pavement and half on the road, as this may make it easier for thieves to 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 converter back to you
You can 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.