NEIGHBOURHOOD WATCH NEWS
Theft of catalytic converters from motor vehicles has been a recurrent crime in recent years, and a recent recurrence in Melton Mowbray serves as a timely reminder of the need to take steps to prevent this expensive nuisance.
Catalytic converters have a value of £300-400 rising to several hundreds of pounds, depending on the make of vehicle. Their value lies in the precious rare metals they contain. Hybrid cars and 4 x 4 cars are favourite targets for criminals, as their converters are especially valuable and, in the case of 4 x 4s, easy to get at. The devices can be removed in less than 5 minutes, simply by jacking up the car (though this is not always necessary) and cutting the converter off, using tools which are easily available.
Thefts often occur at night, targeting cars parked in drives or on the roadside. But it appears that thieves will also target cars in broad daylight, eg in hospital car parks. Thieves may also return to target the same cars.
Leicestershire Police advise registering catalytic converters and/or marking them with a forensic marker, which will make it harder for thieves to dispose of them. Dealers may be able to give advice on approved locks or guards which may be
fitted. Police also advise car owners to ensure vehicles are parked overnight in a garage, or, in the case of commercial vehicles, in a secure compound. Otherwise, vehicles are best parked in an area which is well-lit and overlooked, and positioned
in such a way that the converter cannot easily be reached by potential thieves. More official information on how to protect your vehicle can be found via the following link https://www.leics.police.uk/cp/crime-prevention/theft-from-a-vehicle/vehicle-safe-and-sound/
In all cases, Leicestershire Police advise vigilance and reporting of suspicious
circumstances or behaviour, using the 101 number.