Police are urging the public to be vigilant following a recent spate of catalytic converter thefts.

Police are urging the public to be vigilant following a recent spate of catalytic converter thefts.

Since June 20 there have been 37 incidents across Cambridge and St Ives which also includes Milton, Babraham, Madingley. They have also been reported to be stolen from Cambridge, with the most reports (ten) coming from the site in Trumpington.

The majority of thefts occur during the day and, on 44 occasions, thieves have targeted either a Honda Jazz, Toyota Prius or Toyota Auris.

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 they can be sold on for the precious metals found inside them.

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

Park close to fences, walls or a kerb with the exhaust being closest to the fence, wall or kerb to make theft more difficult.

Invest in a catalytic converter lock, which can be fitted retrospectively and physically locks the converter to the vehicle, thereby preventing a quick and easy removal. Contact your local Toyota or Honda dealer for more information.

If your catalytic converter is bolted on, consider having the bolts welded to make removal difficult.

Mark your catalytic converter with a marking and registration system - some examples are: http://www.retainagroup.com/theisr.html and https://www.selectamark.co.uk/security-marking/cat-marking-kit. This will not protect against theft, but will act as a deterrent, assist in returning property and help bring offenders to justice.

If you park on your driveway then consider purchasing a video doorbell - www.ring.com and/or a driveway alarm that will alert you to suspicious activity.

Sgt Emma Hilson said: "In April and May we received 24 reports of catalytic converter thefts, this figure has now been more than doubled.

"I'm urging motorists to not only take precautions with their own vehicles to make it harder for thieves, but to also be on the lookout for suspicious behaviour and report it to us."

Anyone with information should contact police on 101 or 999 if a crime is in progress.