WARWICKSHIRE Police is warning people to be aware about a spate of catalytic converter thefts.
Officers are raising awareness with the owners of vans and 4x4 off road vehicles to ways to protect themselves from thieves stealing catalytic converters.
The warning follows an increase in the theft of catalytic converters, especially in the Rugby area.
Vans and 4x4 off road SUVs are the most vulnerable types of vehicles due to their height, which gives thieves easier access to underneath the vehicle. Unfortunately the thieves can remove the catalytic converter in a few second
In the past five days there have been three separate incidents reported to police in Rugby, although the thefts can take place anywhere.
On Monday this week a catalytic converter was stolen from a vehicle parked in Winfield Street, Rugby which resulted in damage of more than £2000 to the vehicle.
The following day a catalytic converter was stolen from a vehicle parked in Malvern Avenue and on Wednesday another was taken from a vehicle parked in Claremont Road.
Police are urging the owners of these vehicles to consider fitting anti theft devices to their catalytic converters. The kits, which are widely available on the internet, cost around£100. Other security measures include etching kits which enable a catalytic converter to be identified if it is stolen. Stickers placed in the vehicle window, stating the catalytic converter has been marked may act as a deterrent to thieves
Crime Prevention Officer Ian King said: “The cost of the kits to secure the catalytic converter is a small price to pay compared to the damage and inconvenience caused if it is stolen from your vehicle. I also recommend that the cat converter is marked at the same time as the locking device is fitted. Unfortunately due to the speed with which the thieves can strike they can be stolen from where ever you park. The thieves arrive with their tools and within seconds have removed it.
“Police regularly carry out checks on scrap metal dealers, which is where the stolen catalytic converters end up, and if the owner has marked their cat converter police will be able to identify it as being stolen. This information alone could lead to an arrest and a conviction.“