South Leicester Police - Catalytic Converter Thefts

Alert message sent 15/11/2020 10:28:00

Information sent on behalf of Leicestershire Police

Dear South Leicester Resident,

We have seen an increase in the number of catalytic converter thefts, particularly on the Knighton and Aylestone areas. Please see the below information for further details.

What is a catalytic converter?
A catalytic converter makes up part of the exhaust system on a vehicle; it processes the emissions from a combustion engine into less harmful gases. As the exhaust is exposed beneath most cars, they’re often easy picking for thieves.

Why do thieves target catalytic converters?
Thieves are after the precious metals found in catalytic converters in cars. These are then being sold on for profit. 

Palladium, rhodium, and platinum, which are found in the converters are worth a fortune to thieves. Currently, palladium is more valuable than gold, rhodium is worth nearly two thirds the value of gold, and platinum is around half the value of gold.

Which cars are most at risk of catalytic converter thefts?
Some models are more susceptible to catalytic converter theft; examples include Honda Jazz, Toyota Prius, Toyota Auris and Lexus RX.

Hybrid cars are also targeted because their catalytic converters contain a higher concentration of precious metals and are generally less corroded.

Year on year we’ve seen an increase in this type of theft.

How can I protect my vehicle from catalytic converter thieves?
You can take the following steps to help protect your converter:
  • Park your vehicle in a garage or a well-lit area if possible
  • Park close to fences, walls or kerbs with the exhaust being closest to the barrier - this will make the theft more difficult
  • Avoid mounting your car on the kerb/pavement - it may give thieves easier access to the underneath of your vehicle
  • If your catalytic converter is bolted on, ask your local garage to weld the bolts to make it more difficult to remove
  • Consider a ‘cage clamp’ which locks around the converter
  • Speak to your car dealership about a ‘tilt sensor’ that activates the alarm if someone tries to jack up your vehicle
  • Consider marking your catalytic converter by etching your vehicle registration onto the metal shell, or by using a Secured By Design (SBD) approved forensic marking solution which is heat-resistant. This makes it easier for police to trace the converter back to your vehicle should it ever be stolen and also links offenders to a crime
  • If you see someone acting suspiciously under a vehicle, report it to the police immediately. If you believe a theft is in progress, ring 999.
Kind regards,
Message sent by
Sam Donington (Freemen Neighbourhood Community Support Officer, PCSO, South Leicester Neighbourhood Policing Area)

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