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Catalytic Converter theft


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Join date : 2011-03-19
Location : Around the bend

Catalytic Converter theft Empty Catalytic Converter theft

Post by Kitkat on Fri Feb 14 2020, 15:38

Over recent months there has been an increase in the theft of catalytic converters across some parts of the UK. The below linked Met Police article explains why catalytic converters are being stolen and some of the measures you can take to reduce the chances of your vehicle being a target of this type of theft.

Cars that are currently being targeted include older Toyota and Honda models, particularly Prius, Auris, Jazz, CRV and Civic. Local officers from your Safer Neighbourhood Teams have been out raising awareness about this type of crime. You can also seek advice from your car dealer to see if they can give you any advice on locks or guards that are approved by the vehicle manufacturer. If you see anyone acting suspiciously remember to report it to the police.

ETA: OK, I can't seem to post up the pdf document link, so here is an alternative link (to the Evening Standard, from 3 days ago) which details the scale of the crime, and gives some important details on how to remain vigilant, and what to do if unfortunate enough that it happens to you.  
This report covers London, but many more recent reports are to be found, indicating that this new breed of 'cat burglar' is a country-wide occurrence - (Just one example: arrow right HERE .)

Over 1,000 catalytic converters cut from cars in London every month
Evening Standard (3 days ago)
The true scale of London’s catalytic converter theft crimewave is revealed today, with figures showing more than 1,000 being stolen a month.

Met statistics reveal 8,248 catalytic converters were stolen last year, a 455 per cent rise on the 1,484 stolen in 2018, which was up from just 174 in 2017.

The most recent three months of figures show a further spike in thefts, with 1,406 taken in September, 1,225 in October and 1,390 in November. It is believed the rise is linked to the growing value of precious metals inside the converters.

Thefts increase when the price of platinum, palladium and rhodium are high. The metals can be stripped out and resold for thousands of pounds.

Rhodium last week hit an 11-year high of £7,700 an ounce, five times the value of gold. Palladium and platinum trade at 70 to 80 per cent of the value of gold.

The components are easy to steal with a power hacksaw and have no identifying features that scrap dealers can check to establish if they are stolen.

One theft captured on camera last year showed a gang steal one in seconds. Toyota UK, which has had meetings with police and the Home Office, said the scale of offending had caught the company by surprise, with up to 90 converters swiped a night. It has developed a Catloc security device to deter theft.

A spokesman said: “In all of 2018, we replaced around 60 converters. Last year, it was 4,800. The rapid rise in this crime is one we could not have envisaged. This initially impacted our ability to source enough of the parts we needed in some cases.”

The car manufacturing giant said it has worked hard with suppliers and has hugely increased supply, while “urgently exploring new technical possibilities to deter criminals”.

“We are working with the police, as well as talking to the Government about changes in the law around scrap metal sales that would make it harder for criminals to sell stolen catalysts.”

One recent victim is MP Dame Margaret Hodge who revealed today how thieves stole the catalytic converter from her Toyota Auris.

They targeted her vehicle in a multi-storey car park while she attended an opening night at the Theatre Royal Stratford East on January 29. When she got to a garage in Finsbury Park the following day, she was charged £1,100 for a replacement converter.

A mechanic told Dame Margaret that if she waited for a genuine Toyota part, her Auris could be off the road for three to four months because so many had been stolen that they could not be sourced.

She said: “I only realised this was the new crime when the mechanic explained how long I would wait for a replacement converter.”

A Met spokesman said the force “promotes crime-prevention advice to car owners and works with vehicle manufacturers to provide advice around crime trends and prevention methods to reduce vehicle-related crime”.

    Current date/time is Tue Sep 29 2020, 19:10