Nottinghamshire car owners warned to be extra vigilant following rise in catalytic converter thefts

There has been an increase in the number of catalytic converter thefts taking place across the county.
There has been an increase in the number of catalytic converter thefts taking place across the county.

A spate of catalytic converter thefts has forced Nottinghamshire Police to issue a warning to motorists to stay vigilant.

There has been an increase in the number of thefts taking place across the county with incidents happening mostly in car parks, park and ride sites and open spaces.

There were 16 incidents in June, 24 in July and 23 in August. The rise in this type of offence is being seen nationally.

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Superintendent Ian Roberts, of Nottinghamshire Police, said the thieves usually arrive in a vehicle, jack the target vehicles up and use an angle grinder to remove the catalytic converters in a very short space of time.

He said: "Following this recent spate we are urging motorists to be vigilant to this type of crime. Our advice when leaving vehicles in such locations is to try to park in areas with higher footfall which offers natural security as opposed the more secluded areas of car parks and open spaces.

"People should also consider protective marking, and check with their vehicle's manufacturer to see if there are any protective guards they can purchase.

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The devices, which convert vehicle exhaust emissions into less toxic gasses, are targeted because they contain high value metals. Honda and Toyota vehicles are some of the most common vehicle types to be targeted.

Superintendent Roberts added: "Where we identify there are increased levels of offending we are linking in with the owners and operators of these car parks to look at crime prevention measures and signage to warn drivers.

"We are also liaising with other agencies such as Trading Standards to research possible disposal routes such as precious metals dealers and vehicle breakers."

Police are urging anyone who sees anything suspicious to report it immediately on 101, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.