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Crime prevention advice issued following spate of catalytic converter thefts from vehicles.

News   •   Aug 19, 2019 09:26 BST

We’re issuing crime prevention advice following a spate of catalytic converter thefts across the east of Surrey this month.

Since the beginning of August eight reports have been received from Reigate and Banstead, eight reports from Epsom and Ewell, seven reports from the Tandridge area, and one report has been received in Mole Valley.

The vehicles targeted are predominantly the Toyota Prius and Honda Jazz.

We are working hard to establish if any of the reports are linked. Enquiries are ongoing to identify and apprehend the perpetrators.

The best way to prevent theft is to make access to your car’s converter as inconvenient and difficult as possible.

Here are some tips to prevent catalytic converter theft:

  • Park in as well-lit areas where possible.
  • Park close to building entrances or the nearest road in public car parks. This leaves your vehicle in a location where many people can see it.
  • If you have a garage use it and keep it locked.
  • Consider CCTV if your vehicle is parked on your driveway or a RING-type device.
  • Adjust the security system on your car or have one installed that will activate upon vibration, such as those produced by a saw.
  • Install a catalytic converter-specific security device, such as ‘ARMACAT’ or ‘CATLOC’ - https://blog.toyota.co.uk/catalytic-converter-theft-how-to-protect-your-car
  • Consider ID Etching - Etching a catalytic converter with a serial number will help police track a stolen converter and overtly advertising that a vehicle is protected by property marking may also deter offenders as it will potentially reduce the opportunities for selling on the converters at reputable scrap metal dealers. More information on ID etching can be found at www.retainagroup.co.uk
  • Consider welded bolts - If a catalytic converter is a ‘bolt on’ it is possible to have the bolts welded shut. This is only a deterrent to the lowest grade of catalytic converter thief working with a wrench but may still be enough of a deterrent to help prevent a theft.
  • Report suspicious activity to the Police. Obtain as much information as possible, including any vehicle registrations.

Anyone with information can call 101. In an emergency or if a crime is in progress always dial 999.

Alternatively, if you do not wish to leave your name, please call the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.