Rise in thefts of catalytic converters with two specific car models targeted – assess risk

Car theft: New technology 'makes it easier' says expert

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Avon and Somerset police alerted drivers to the rise in thefts after 14 examples of the device were reported stolen across the area. And while almost any modern car can be targeted by thieves, Toyota Prius and Honda Jazz owners should be especially vigilant.

That’s because those two particular models have hybrid systems that are more valuable when sold on.

In a statement, the police force said: “Catalytic converters contain precious metals such as rhodium, platinum and palladium.

“The sharp rise in the value of these metals over recent years has driven up the rate of catalytic converter theft.

“They can take less than a minute for a thief to cut and remove.”

Catalytic converters turn pollutants released by a car’s exhaust into less harmful gases.

They are fairly simple to steal for thieves who use jacks and angle grinders to remove them.

Worth around £500 on the black market, catalytic converters on SUVs are more valuable due to their larger engines and higher ground clearance.

That raised height makes the converters easier to take.

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Catalytic converters have been fitted to every petrol car since 1992 and every diesel car since 2001.

Aside from the thefts of the devices in front of people’s houses, police say they’ve even had reports of them being stolen from public car parks.

They’ve gone as far as to put together a list of tips for keeping a catalytic converter safe.

They say in order to prevent a car from becoming a target owners should do the following:

– Avoid parking half on the pavement, half on the road, as this may provide thieves with easier access to the underside of your vehicle

– Park your vehicle in a locked garage whenever possible

– Try to park in busy, well-lit areas, or areas covered by CCTV

– Ask your garage to tell you your catalytic converter’s serial number, and make a note of it

Consider purchasing forensic liquid and using it to mark your catalytic converter

Place a protective covering over your catalytic converter

Have the bolts welded together by a mechanic

Buy a specialist lock or clamp for the device along the lines of Toyota’s “Catloc”.

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