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Warning issued to Southampton residents following recent catalytic converter thefts

Alert message sent 10/05/2021 12:52:00

Information sent on behalf of Hampshire Constabulary

Officers are warning residents in Southampton to be vigilant following three catalytic converter thefts from vehicles over the weekend.

On Saturday 8 May, it was reported that sometime between 7pm on Friday, 7 May and 10.30am Saturday, 8 May, a catalytic converter had been stolen from a vehicle on Lytham Road.

The second happened sometime between 10.30pm on Friday, 7 May and 5pm Saturday, 8 May, where it was reported that a catalytic converter was taken from vehicle on Capon Close.

On Sunday, 9 May we received a third report that sometime between 11pm on Friday 7 May and 10am Sunday 9 May, a catalytic converter had been stolen from another vehicle on Lytham Road.

Catalytic converter theft is closely linked to prices of Rhodium and Palladium which are contained within the converters. The prices of these metals 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.

However there are ways you can protect your vehicle if, like many people, you don’t have access to a garage:

• Find out where your cat 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 https://www.hampshire.police.uk/ro/report/ocr/af/how-to-report-a-crime/ and include any markings so that we can identify your converter if it’s recovered.

The local neighbourhood policing teams in your area are monitoring reports and would like to ask people to report any suspicious activity.

Anyone with information about the incidents mentioned should call 101, quoting reference 44210177899, 44210177353 and 44210176795.

As always, if a crime is in progress, please dial 999.

Message sent by
Sarah Cartwright (Police, Corporate Communications, Hampshire)

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