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Warning issued following increase in catalytic converter thefts

We’re asking the public to remain vigilant following a recent increase in catalytic converter thefts from vehicles.

So far in 2022, we’ve had 14 catalytic converter thefts reported to us from across the force area, including in Bath, Keynsham, Yate, Filton, Fishponds, Southmead and Brislington.

In a number of cases, vehicles have been targeted while parked in public car parks.

While any type of vehicle can be affected, hybrid cars – such as older Toyota Prius and Honda Jazz models – are particularly likely to be targeted for their catalytic converters. Thefts can occur at any time of day or night.

Catalytic converters contain precious metals such as rhodium, platinum and palladium. The sharp rise in the value of these metals over recent years has driven up the rate of catalytic converter theft.

They can take less than a minute for a thief to cut and remove.

We’re urging motorists to help protect their vehicles from becoming an easy target by taking these steps:

  • Avoid parking half on the pavement, half on the road, as this may provide thieves with easier access to the underside of your vehicle.
  • Park your vehicle in a locked garage whenever possible.
  • Try to park in busy, well-lit areas, or areas covered by CCTV.
  • Ask your garage to tell you your catalytic converter’s serial number, and make a note of it.
  • Consider purchasing forensic liquid and using it to mark your catalytic converter.
  • Place a protective covering over your catalytic converter.

For more information on catalytic converter theft visit Crimestoppers: https://crimestoppers-uk.org/keeping-safe/home-property-safety/catalytic-converter-theft

To report a theft, or if you have any information that could help police, call 101 or contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. If you witness a theft in progress, call 999.

Many catalytic converters are also being sold as replacements and we are keen to hear from vehicle dismantlers and advertisers, should they be approached by sellers who don’t have the requisite documents to show ownership.