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Stay On Lookout After Spate of Catalytic Converter Thefts, Surrey Drivers Warned

Published on: 24 May, 2020
Updated on: 26 May, 2020

Car-owners are being warned to stay alert and report any suspicious activity because gangs are stealing catalytic converters from vehicle exhausts across Surrey, especially from hybrids.

Police say they are getting more and more reports of thieves who takes only minutes to jack up the cars and cut out the converters to be sold to unscrupulous dealers as precious metals. Targeted owners face expensive repairs. The gangs are striking almost everywhere, on the road, in car parks, and even on private driveways.

The thieves may seem as though they are legitimately working on a car and may also wear masks.

Officers say there are ways to protect your vehicle:

  • Watch for suspicious activity around vehicles, such as a vehicle being lifted up or someone doing something to the underneath;
  • Look out for anyone attempting to steal number plates, because thieves may use these on their vehicles to avoid detection;
  • CCTV such as a video doorbell could provide key evidence and deter offenders;
  • An alarm can be fitted to your vehicle that activates if it is tilted or shaken;
  • Having your vehicle’s serial number etched on the catalytic converter could help police track stolen items and deter offenders (see www.retainagroup.co.uk);
  • A protective cover over the catalytic converter can help to guard your vehicle (see www.catloc.co.uk);
  • Garages can be asked to weld the bolts holding the catalytic converter on, to make it harder to remove; and
  • If you witness suspicious activity, don’t approach the suspects. Where possible, take note of the suspect’s vehicle registration. You can report this via www.surrey.police.uk/ro/report. In an emergency always call 999.

For further information about catalytic converter theft see www.surrey.police.uk/cp/crime-prevention/theft-from-a-vehicle

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