Rugby police are warning residents to be vigilant following a report that catalytic converter thefts from cars are on the rise.
A spokesperson said: "There has been an increase in reported offences in the Rugby area in the last month with busy car parks begin targeted.
"Please be vigilant and contact us should you see anybody acting suspiciously."
What is a catalytic converter and why do people steal them?
A catalytic converter is a crucial part of your car's exhaust system - it is a box-shaped component which helps to clean up harmful gases before they are emitted into the atmosphere.
The catalytic converter is located on the underside of a car, attached to the exhaust pipe.
To steal the converter, a criminal will usually slide underneath the car and use a power tool to cut it away from the exhaust pipe.
The converters often contain precious metals, making them an attractive prospect for criminals - who are stealing the components in increasing numbers across many areas.
Steps you can take to avoid becoming a victim of these thefts include:
Marking catalytic converters with a serial number to make them distinctive.
Placing a protective covering over the catalytic converter.
Installing CCTV and alarms.
And, perhaps most simply, parking your car in a way that prevents criminals from accessing the underneath.