Derbyshire Police issue appeal after large numbers of catalytic converters stolen across county
Catalytic converter theft is on the rise across Derbyshire, as officers appeal for more information following a number of stolen devices.
Derbyshire Constabulary have been made aware of numerous catalytic convert thefts in Chesterfield, Buxton, Whaley Bridge, Borrowash, Derby and Sandiacre which are reported to have taken place between February 26 and March 3.
The device is fitted on vehicle exhausts to reduce toxic gases and pollutants and uses precious metals to ensure the converters work efficiently enough to meet emissions standards.
Thieves are now steeling catalytic converters because of the value of these precious metals.
While thefts across the county are not formally linked together at this stage, officers in Derbyshire are appealing for anyone who may have seen a silver car in the Hasland Road area of Chesterfield, the Windsor Park Road area of Fairfield and the Kingsway area of Derby on March 2 to come forward.
Police received three reports of thefts in the areas between 10am and 8pm and the offenders, who are believed to be two or three men, were all seen to leave the scene in a silver vehicle.
Detective Inspector Harry Rai said: "These types of offences are a national issue and I would like to reassure the residents of Derbyshire that these offences are being investigated robustly and we are working with neighbouring forces and our partners to bring those responsible to justice.
“I urge vehicle owners to be cautious and to protect their vehicles.
"Please review your home security and where you park your vehicle, let’s make it as difficult as possible for these individuals to commit this type of crime.
“The residents of Derbyshire can also assist in preventing this type of crime by reporting anyone acting suspiciously around a vehicle to us.
“Obviously there is an end participant in the theft of catalytic converters and we will be liaising with dealers to check the legality of their operation.
“Dealers in the metal trade can assist in letting the police know if they are offered a catalytic converter.”
The cars that are most often targeted are hybrid vehicles, as the catalytic converter is used less frequently, meaning the metals they use are less likely to corrode and they are worth more.
Police are urging motorists to park in a garage or in a position where it would be difficult to access the underside of the vehicle, near the exhaust, to reduce their chances of becoming a victim of theft.
Drivers should also consider marking their catalytic converter with a serial number to identify it and register it on sites such as Immobilise, as well as installing alarms and CCTV near to where their car is kept.
There are protective coverings motorists can get to conceal their vehicle’s converter, which would make it more difficult to steal.
Officers have encouraged anyone who spots suspicious behaviour of someone who appears to be working on a car in a public car park to report it to the force by calling 101 and quoting reference number 463-040321.
Alternatively, crimes can be reported anonymously to independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.