Rise in catalytic converter thefts as 164 stolen across Huntingdonshire

Cambridgeshire Constabulary held a week-long operation following a rise in catalytic converter thefts across the county. 

Cambridgeshire Constabulary held a week-long operation following a rise in catalytic converter thefts across the county. - Credit: Cambridgeshire Constabulary 

A rise in catalytic converters thefts from vehicles has seen 164 stolen in Huntingdonshire.

Cambridgeshire Police have seen a 49 per cent increase in reported incidents year on year – from 314 thefts in 2019 to 470 in 2020. 

Thieves have stolen 281 so far this year – making it an average of more than two a day between January and April. 

The figures come as part of the force’s week-long operation and carrying out crime prevention work. 

Last week (April 25) the number of patrols on the road network were increased to focus on suspicious vehicles criminals are moving around in. 

Cambridgeshire Constabulary held a week-long operation following a rise in catalytic converter thefts across the county. 

Cambridgeshire Constabulary held a week-long operation following a rise in catalytic converter thefts across the county. - Credit: Cambridgeshire Constabulary

Detective Inspector Nick Cook, who is leading the force’s response to the theft of catalytic converters, said: “During this week of action we’ve had four thefts which is significantly lower than previous weeks.

"We hope it has sent a message to criminals that this sort of criminality will not be tolerated and we’re committed to making life as difficult as possible for criminals.” 

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Throughout the week officers also visited scrap metal dealers to check stolen items were not being accepted and delivered postcards to residents offering crime prevention advice. 

Toyotas and Hondas have been predominantly targeted but other vehicles including Lexus, Mercedes, Mazda and Volkswagen have also been singled out. 

Catalytic converters are found in the exhaust system of every car and reduce the output of toxic gases and pollutants.

Stealing them has become popular because they aren’t easily identifiable and can be sold on for the precious metals found inside them which can fetch between £50 and £200 a time. 

Motorists can take the following precautions to help prevent them from becoming a victim: 

  • Park your car in a garage if possible or in a lit area up against a fence/wall/other vehicle so it can’t be lifted 

  • Avoid parking half-on-half-off the pavement 

  • Consider a catalytic lock which a garage can install 

  • Fit a tilt car alarm 

  • Mark your catalytic converter 

  • Install a video doorbell and/or driveway alarm that will alert you to suspicious activity. 

Anyone with information should report online at https://bit.ly/341yT0l or call 101. Always call 999 if a crime is in progress. 

Further crime prevention advice is available here https://bit.ly/3nDftXd 

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