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Urgent advice issued as catalytic converter thefts spiral in Wiltshire

Urgent advice issued as catalytic converter thefts spiral in Wiltshire

Published by Mike Draper at 5:55am 27th January 2020.

3 minute read

Car owners are being told they need to consider measures to protect their vehicles following a growing spate of incidents.

Wiltshire Police say they're aware of around 70 incidents so far of catalytic converters being stolen. That number mirrors a nationwide problem with these types of thefts.

VEHICLES AT RISK

  • Thieves appear to be targeting Toyota and Lexus, as well as some Honda and Land Rover vehicles
  • Crooks are stealing the catalytic converters in broad daylight, and in public places
  • It takes them about 4 minutes to remove one with basic tools

As Spire FM reported earlier this month, the number of catalytic converter thefts appears to be soaring.

A Honda Civic is driving from New Bridge Road onto Exeter Street roundabout in Salisbury
CATALYST: Some Honda vehicles are among those falling victim to catalytic converter theft.

HOW TO PROTECT YOUR VEHICLE

Please take a few minutes to consider the following crime prevention advice from Wiltshire Police:

  1. Park your car in a locked garage where possible, but if this isn't an option, then park it in a well-lit and well-populated area
  2. Park close to fences, walls or a kerb with the exhaust being closest to the fence, wall or kerb to make the theft more difficult
  3. Avoid parking your vehicle half on the pavement and half on the road, as this may make it easier for thieves to access the catalytic converter
  4. In public car parks, consider parking alongside other cars and facing your bonnet towards the wall if possible. With the catalytic converter positioned at the front of your vehicle, this will make it harder for thieves to get close enough to steal it
  5. With a fleet of vehicles, park the low clearance vehicles to block the high clearance vehicles. This will obstruct access underneath
  6. If your catalytic converter is bolted on, ask for your local garage to weld the bolts to make it more difficult to remove
  7. Etch a serial number on the catalytic converter
  8. Purchase a 'cage clamp' which locks around the catalytic converter making it more difficult to remove, as well as cat locks for certain makes of vehicle. Local dealerships and garages will have more information about these

CALL THE POLICE

If you see someone acting suspiciously under a vehicle, report it to the police.

Get as much information as possible, including any vehicle registrations.

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