Suspected catalytic converter thief tried to switch his headlights off to evade police in Rugby

Police spotted the man while out on patrol in the early hours

Wednesday, 21st April 2021, 4:28 pm
Updated Wednesday, 21st April 2021, 4:30 pm
File image.

A suspected catalytic converter thief has been arrested in Rugby after trying to escape police by switching his headlights off.

The 24-year-old man from Derby was arrested in Rugby at 12.25am this morning, Wednesday, April 21.

It came after a car using suspected cloned number plates was spotted by officers while on patrol in Wood Street.

As officers turned around to intercept the vehicle, the driver turned his lights off and made off at speed.

The car eventually stopped and the two occupants fled with one of them being caught in Newbold Road and arrested on suspicion of theft and going equipped.

Officers seized a trolley jack, electric saw with a metal cutting blade, a drill and a wrench from the car.

Detective Inspector Collette O’Keefe from Rugby Proactive CID said: “This was an excellent piece of proactive police work to identify a suspect vehicle and seize equipment we believe would have been used to steal catalytic converters.

“We are committed to tackling catalytic converter thefts in Warwickshire and urge the public to remain vigilant to the signs of this crime and report any information to us.

“If you see a car being lifted up and hear the sound of metal being cut it could be a catalytic converter theft in action. If you suspect this, contact police immediately by calling 999.”

Anyone with information relating to the arrest is asked to call Warwickshire Police on 101.

If you wish to remain anonymous, call the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

You can help tackle catalytic converter theft:

Keep your vehicle in a garage or secure area if you have one

Alarms, lighting and CCTV help to deter thieves

Buy a protection device for you catalytic converter

Set your dash cam to detect movement

Park with your exhaust close to a fence, wall or kerb to make it difficult for thieves

Avoid parking half on the pavement and half on the road as this makes it easier for thieves

If parking in a car park try to park alongside other cars

Mark your catalytic converter with your car’s serial number – this makes it harder for thieves to sell it on and means it can be tracked back to your vehicle if police seize it

And remember, keep an eye out for people acting suspicious (especially if they are under a vehicle) and report it by calling 999.