Car theft: New technology 'makes it easier' says expert
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Motorists have been told that car thieves are on the lookout for catalytic converters. They have also been warned by police that the offences are more likely to take place during weekends in broad daylight.
Catalytic converter thieves use a number of tricks to deceive the public.
They often attempt thefts during the day by pretending to be repairing a car.
They also often wear high visibility jackets to “hide in plain sight” according to police.
Liverpool Echo reported that the thieves usually target Hondas, Toyotas, and Lexus.
However, other brands may also be at risk.
With that in mind, Merseyside Police have now called on the public to help reduce this type of crime.
This can be done by responding quickly to thefts and helping to identify and catch those responsible.
A post on the Sefton Police Facebook Page said: “If you see anyone acting in this manner under cars in car parks, CCTV, photographs, video or dashcam footage of the people involved and details of the vehicles they have used will be vital in helping us to arrest offenders.
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“Call us on 999 if you believe you are witnessing a crime in process, or 101 if you have information or footage of an incident at a later date.
“These thieves are brazen and often carry out their crimes in busy areas on the basis that no one will report what they are seeing.
“Please help us to catch these offenders by reporting people acting suspiciously under cars in car parks.”
According to the figures obtained from the Metropolitan Police by the Liberal Democrat group in the London Assembly, in the capital alone, there were more than 10,000 catalytic converter thefts recorded by police in 2021.
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It marked a slight decrease compared to the previous year when more than 14,000 catalytic converter thefts were recorded.
However, the figure is still far higher compared to the previous years.
In 2017, just 173 catalytic converter thefts were recorded by the Metropolitan Police.
Lib-Dem Assembly Member Caroline Pidgeon said: “A crime that hardly existed in 2017 soared in 2019 and remains at worryingly high levels across much of London, with gangs most recently targeting cars in Barnet, Enfield, Ealing and Hillingdon.
“Catalytic converter thefts are a serious crime, leading to a massive financial loss for thousands of people and a rise in car premiums for everyone.”
Catalytic converters are devices fitted to car exhausts that remove harmful emissions.
They are targeted by thieves due to the precious metals they contain.
The rising value of precious metals found in catalytic converters means things like rhodium and palladium are often more expensive than gold, with converters selling for as much as £500 on the black market.
If stolen, they can cost drivers as much as £800 to replace.
Dan Powell, senior editor at heycar said: “Catalytic converter theft can be quite common, especially with hybrid cars.
“This is because hybrids produce less pollution and the valuable metals in the catalytic converter is in a better condition than that of a petrol or diesel vehicle, which means it has a higher scrap value.
“However, there are a number of methods that can be used to deter criminals, from third-party devices to even how you park your car.”
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