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Thefts of catalytic converters

posted 26 Sep 2019, 04:51 by Chris Hoare

The following is a Police Connect message.


Vehicle owners are asked to remain vigilant as the nights draw in and to be mindful of vehicle security in particular to take steps to prevent catalytic converter thefts.

Catalytic converters contain several metals, including copper, nickel, cerium, iron and manganese. Small amounts of rhodium are also found within a catalytic converter. Rhodium, like platinum and palladium, is very rare and valuable.

How are Catalytic converters (CATs) removed?

A pipe cutter, or similar, tool is used to cut the CAT from the pipe. Offences most commonly occur in residential locations. Vans and cars with higher ground clearance are usually targeted.

Often the quarterlight window is removed or smashed to gain access to the bonnet release. The exhaust system is then accessed, unbolted and then either taken in its entirety, or discarded after the CAT has been cut free. 

There are a number of prevention tactics you can consider to try and reduce the risk of becoming the next victim of CAT theft - 

· Park your vehicle in a locked and secure garage/compound at all times.

· The use of alarms, lighting and CCTV can deter thieves. If this isn’t possible park in a well-lit public area.

· Park in such a way as to make access to the catalytic converter difficult, or parallel with another vehicle if you own one.

· Report suspicious activity by looking out for people ‘working’ under vehicles as they may not be the owners or lease holders, even if they have fluorescent jackets on.

· Mark your catalytic converter by etching your vehicle registration onto the metal shell, or by using a Secured by Design (SBD) approved forensic marking solution which is heat-resistant. This makes it easier for police to trace the converter back to your vehicle should it ever be stolen, and links offenders to a crime. https://www.securedbydesign.com/

· Consider fitting additional security on your vehicle(s) by installing an SBD approved converter security product, such as a clamp.

Further crime prevention advice can be found here.  



Help us keep our communities safe.

Police advice on a variety of subjects can be accessed via  https://www.suffolk.police.uk/advice

To report something, or to otherwise contact Police, use the link http://www.suffolk.police.uk/contact-us 

To report something anonymously call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or visit www.crimestoppers-uk.org

Alternatively call 101 for non-urgent matters.

Always call 999 in emergencies, or if an immediate police response is required.


Police Connect Team

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