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Hampshire Constabulary warns Eastleigh and Hedge End residents following rise in catalytic converter thefts

Alert message sent 22/10/2020 10:54:00

Information sent on behalf of Hampshire Constabulary

We would like to issue specific advice to motorists in Eastleigh and Hedge End following an increase in catalytic converter thefts since the beginning of October.

During this time, we have recorded 10 catalytic converter thefts from these locations;

Barton Farm industrial Estate, Chickenhall Lane
Solent industrial Estate, Shamblehurst Lane
Snows Southampton, Botley Road

Particularly worrying was the incident at Snows Southampton, which resulted in eight thefts of catalytic converters from vehicles on the forecourt.

Catalytic converter theft is closely linked to prices of Rhodium and Palladium which are contained within the converters. The prices of these metals have increased during 2020 and this is what we believe has contributed to the number of thefts increasing. We are seeing that cat converters on hybrid Hondas and Toyotas are particularly vulnerable because their converters are cleaner and therefore the valuable metals contained within them are less likely to corrode. They are also easier to access on hybrid vehicles.

Catalytic converters can be stolen within a few minutes by using just a few basic tools, but there are ways you can protect your vehicle if, like many people, you don’t have access to a garage:

• Find out where your catalytic converter is located on your car; if it’s at the front of your car, park with the bonnet towards a wall if possible

• If it’s at the back, park it with your exhaust to the wall

• If parking in a public car park, consider parking alongside other cars and incorporating wall

• Avoid parking your vehicle half on the pavement and half on the road, as this may make it easier for get under your car

• If your catalytic converter is bolted on, you can ask for your local garage to weld the bolts to make it more difficult to remove

• Alternatively, you can also etch a serial number on the converter so that if it is stolen and then recovered, we can get your car converter back to you

• You can even purchase a ‘cage clamp’ which is a cage device that locks in around the converter to make it more difficult to remove

• Speak to your dealership or garage about the possibility of adding a tilt sensor that will activate the alarm should any thief try to jack the vehicle up to steal the converter

• If you see someone acting suspiciously under a vehicle, report it. Obtain as much information as possible, including any vehicle registrations

• In the event your cat converter is stolen, please report online via our website and include any markings so that we can identify your converter if it’s recovered

Our local neighbourhood policing teams in Eastleigh and Hedge End area are continuing to monitor reports and would like to ask local residents to report any suspicious activity.
Message sent by
Wes Hutchins (Police, Corporate Communications Officer, Hampshire)

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