Catalytic converter thefts on the rise | Motoring Issues - Car News Nov 2013

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09:05 Tuesday 12 Oct 2021

Thefts of catalytic converters from cars and vans have more than doubled over the past three years, an investigation by the BBC has found.

Between 2010 and the first six months of 2013, approximately 25,000 catalytic converter thefts were reported to police forces nationwide.

Thieves are targeting catalytic converters (or cats, for short) because they contain a number of precious metals, such as platinum, palladium and rhodium.

Figures obtained by the BBC show that 3,957 cats were stolen in 2010, rising to 8,947 last year. 4,485 were stolen between 1 January and 30 June this year so if the current trend continues, nearly 9,000 will have been stolen by the end of the year.

The increase in thefts is particularly marked in some areas of the country. South Yorkshire and Bedfordshire have seen cat thefts rise tenfold, while thefts in Greater Manchester, Leicestershire and Chester have more than tripled.

James Goodson, a senior analyst with British Transport Police, believes the rise in thefts is due to increases in the global price of platinum.

He told the BBC: "We've seen that in the past metals such as platinum and palladium are affected by the changes in the market. That would be reflected at scrap metal dealer level by the dealer offering a better price for that material.

"We've identified that when there are increases in the price of these metals and materials then we often see an increase in levels of theft reported to us."

4x4s and vans are thought to be particularly susceptible to cat thefts due to their high ground clearance.

To minimise the risk of theft, drivers are being urged to park their cars in brightly lit areas with CCTV coverage, if possible. Converters can also be uniquely marked in acid with a serial number or welded onto the exhaust, making them harder and less tempting for thieves to remove.


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