Dear Watch Member,
Catalytic converter theft is part of a national crimewave currently sweeping the country. Although some arrests were recently made – as detailed in this link (https://news.met.police.uk/news/police-operation-to-stop-thefts-of-catalytic-converters-423914) – offenders are still targeting parked cars in the street and it is hard to pinpoint where they will strike. We do know that some preferred model of vehicles targeted are Honda, Toyota and Lexus.
Why is there a sudden increase in this type of theft? Metal theft has been an issue in the past and the introduction of scrap metal licenses in 2013 did appear to significantly reduce crime. The value of precious metals contained inside a catalytic converter has risen dramatically. It is suspected that stolen catalytic converters are being sold on the black market.
The actual thefts can take as little as two minutes to execute, quite often involving someone with a hydraulic trolley jack. If you are not sure what these look like they are what the mechanics use in the pit lanes of a grand prix race to raise the car. The offender will then climb underneath the car to use a cordless electric saw or angle grinder to cut through the exhaust to retrieve the catalytic converter, which is why some residents have reported hearing a loud noise or drilling. Anyone seen jacking up a car in the street like this should be reported to police straight away.
An anti-theft stainless steel plate can be fitted to the underneath of your car to protect the catalytic converter. It is worth contacting your dealer for a quote. We can recommend CATLOC from ‘Secured by Design’ which is an official police security initiative. Please click on the below link for further information.
Pinner Safer Neighbourhood Team
Email: [email protected]