Vehicles targeted daily for catalytic converters, say police

Police are urging the public to be vigilant as thieves continue to target vehicles for their catalytic converters.

Police are urging the public to be vigilant as thieves continue to target vehicles for their catalytic converters. - Credit: Archant

Police are urging the public to be vigilant as thieves continue to target vehicles for their catalytic converters.

Since February there have been 40 reported thefts of catalytic converters across the south of the county – the equivalent of more than one every day.

Thieves have struck vehicles on the driveways of homes in Cambridge, Milton, Histon, Bottisham, Comberton, Impington, Fordham, Stretham, Soham, Isleham, Wilburton, Ely, Newmarket, Wicken, Stetchworth, St Neots, Little Paxton, Buckden, Brampton, Yaxley and Sawtry.

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.


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Detective Inspector Nick Cook said: “We believe there are a number of groups of people coming from out of the county to carry out these thefts.

“It takes just minutes for these people to remove a catalytic converter and on many occasions victims are unaware their vehicle has been targeted even though it was sat on their driveway.

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“While we’re putting efforts in to catch those responsible, we need members of the public to call us if they suspect their vehicle is being targeted so we can deploy our resources as it’s likely they have moved on to the next street.”

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/2D9KFKH or call 101. Always call 999 if a crime is in progress.

Further crime prevention advice is available here https://bit.ly/3e28zIu

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