Across the UK, Car owners have been urged to take steps to protect both their vehicles from organised crimes surrounding catalytic converters.
According to an investigation conducted by the BBC, thefts of the essential exhaust components rocketed by 600% last year, with drivers footing the bill to replace stolen parts.
Recently, a family in Newport warned other residents to be vigilant after thieves stole their cars catalytic converter. You can read more here
In 2018, there were an estimated 2,000 reports of catalytic converters stolen in England and Wales, but in 2019, the figure rocketed up to nearly 13,000.
But why are catalytic converters being targeted?
Catalytic converters help control and convert vehicle emissions and are seen as an easy high-value target for criminals looking to make quick money. Catalytic converters contain a wealth of precious metals, including rhodium, palladium and platinum which can all be stripped out and sold on or the whole unit can be sold as a spare part – making it virtually untraceable.
With the recent development of hybrid technology, hybrid vehicles are particularly vulnerable as they tend to have lower emissions, meaning the metals in the catalytic converters are less corroded that in traditional petrol or diesel vehicles.
For owners who have been a victim of theft of their Catalytic converter could see a repair bill of more the £1,000. And recently the AA reported that claims can reach as much as £3,000 depending on the damaged the thieve caused when removing the part.
What do the safety experts say?
Clive Wain, head of police liaison at vehicle recovery specialist Tracker, said Owners need to make sure their vehicles are protected from thieves who often simply jack the vehicle up and unbolt the part.
He said “plugin and self-charging hybrids are a highly desirable target for thieves as their catalytic converters, which turn noxious gases (carbon dioxide, Carbon Monoxide, Nitrogen Oxides) in a cars exhaust into less harmful substances, are less corroded than those in a traditional vehicle.
“But there are some simple steps that owners can take to protect their vehicle, including physical barriers to make thieves think twice before targeting their car”
- Park in a garage or other secure area: if you don’t have access to a garage, try to leave your car in a well-lit and overlooked area.
- Install CCTV: The one thing thieves don’t want to do is get caught on camera. Installing cameras allows you to monitor your car and catch anyone who is looking to target it.
- Consider installing a Thatcham approved alarm to your vehicle: As catalytic converters are located towards the front and underneath the car, many thieves will require a jack to gain access to the part. Installing a Thatcham alarm will alert you to your car either being lifted or tilted.
- Use a catalytic converter protection device: Such as a Catloc or Catclamp which make it hard to access the converter, or have the device etched with a unique serial number.
For further tips on how you can properly protect your vehicle from thieves take a look at our blog here
For more information about our professional Security Services and how they can effectively protect you and your business contact us on 01656 713950 or visit our website for further details.