Warning issued after sudden spate of catalytic convertor thefts
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In recent weeks there have been numerous catalytic convertor thefts reported after the value of the metals inside them has increased.
Thieves have been targeting vehicles across the county at all times of the day, primarily in daylight hours, where they can be removed in a matter of minutes.
They have been stolen from vehicles in supermarket car parks, as well as those on the roadside.
The most recent reports were yesterday, Wednesday 24 February, with thefts in Stonehouse and Cheltenham.
Police have received reports of people parking next to a target vehicle, jacking it up and removing the catalytic converter in a matter of minutes.
Victims only notice the crime after it has happened when they start their vehicle.
The main vehicles targeted by thieves at the moment are Toyotas, specifically the Prius model, and Hondas, specifically the Jazz model.
Hybrid models in particular are more desirable to thieves due to the higher concentration of precious metals and are generally less corroded.
Gloucestershire Constabulary is asking the public to remain vigilant and to report any suspicious behaviour, especially seeing cars being jacked up on the roadside and in supermarket car parks.
Call 999 if a crime is in progress or if offenders are nearby.
There are some protective measures drivers can consider to help reduce the risk to their vehicles. These include:
- Park vehicles close to walls, fences, kerbs and garages with the exhaust closest to these, making gaining access to the underneath of the vehicle more difficult
- Where possible park your car in a locked garage
- Avoid parking your car partially on the pavement and if using a car park consider parking between other parked vehicles
- Consider CCTV, security lights and alarms where possible.
- Consider purchasing catalytic converter covers or clamps which are widely available and offer protection.
More advice on how to help keep your vehicle safe from crime can be found on the Constabulary's website here: Keeping vehicles safe | Crime prevention | Gloucestershire Constabulary