Advice issued to motorists in Southampton following increase in catalytic converter thefts
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We would like to issue specific advice to motorists across Southampton following an increase in catalytic converter thefts in recent months.
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, 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
• 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
• 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
Local officers will be seeking to distribute Smart Water kits – which is a highly durable liquid used to make components of a vehicle – at local beat surgeries and to those who have been a victim of crime over the coming months.
These Smart Water kits, which can be applied to catalytic converters, act as a deterrent to would-be opportunists as they contain a traceable liquid – which once applied is nearly invisible to the naked eye and difficult to remove – but also ensures that assets that are registered can be traced back to their original owner.
To obtain your Smart Water kit, residents are asked to attend beat surgeries in the following locations:
• Sainsburys, Portswood road on Saturday 14 October between 10am and 12pm
• Highfield Church, Highfield Lane on Tuesday 10 October between 7pm and 8.30pm
• Harefield Hub, Mlechet Road on Thursday 16 October between 2pm and 3pm
• Townhill Park Community Centre, Meggeson Avenue on Monday 18 December between 6.30pm and 7.30pm
Southampton North Inspector, Brian Goodall, said: “We understand the frustration felt by local residents whose vehicles have been specifically targeted by would-be opportunists; these incidents can have a profound impact on victims’ livelihoods – especially those who rely on their vehicles on a day-to-day basis. The cost of repairs or loss of earnings through a car being off the road can be significant – but we want to work with victims of crime to ensure that they do not face a similar fate in the future.
“We have seen a sharp rise in the number of catalytic converter thefts being reported across Southampton and want to encourage local residents to remain vigilant. We will be engaging with local communities in the coming months via our beat surgeries, and also with those who have been a victim of crime in relation to catalytic converter theft, to distribute a number of Smart Water kits.
"These will allow for members of the public to put preventative measures in place to ensure that their vehicle is better protected against such thefts, and in the event that the catalytic converter is recovered, then it can be returned to its rightful owner.
“If you see someone acting suspiciously under a vehicle, report it. Obtain as much information as possible, including any vehicle registrations
“If you’re a scrap metal dealer and someone has tried to sell you a Catalytic Converter, please let us know.
“Our local officers are monitoring reports and continue to encourage people to report any suspicious activity.”
If you’re worried about reporting something to the police, you can report anonymously to independent charity, Crimestoppers , by calling 0800 555 111.