Warning after spate of catalytic converter thefts

Police officers who have been at the frontline during the Covid-19 pandemic are being punished, Mr H

The theft of catalytic converters remains an issue in Suffolk - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

Motorists are being urged to remain vigilant following a spate of catalytic converter thefts in Suffolk.  

The crime has increased nationally and across the county in recent years due to the rise in price of precious metals, such as rhodium, palladium and platinum, Suffolk police said. 

Catalytic converters are devices fitted to vehicle exhausts to reduce the amount of dangerous gases emitted. 

The parts are often targeted as they can be stripped by thieves in a matter of minutes, and then sold via scrapyards, online, or shipped out of the country.

Hybrid vehicles are commonly targeted, as the metals in their catalytic converters are more valuable, but any vehicle can be at risk. 

Thefts of catalytic converters in Suffolk have more than doubled since last year Picture: GETTY IMAG

Catalytic converters can be stripped by thieves in a matter of minutes - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Two thefts took place in Felixstowe this week, with the first happening sometime between 10pm on Tuesday and midday on Wednesday when a catalytic converter was stolen from a Honda in Golf Road.

The second incident took place around 12.30am on Wednesday in Foxgrove Lane, police said. 

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A resident spotted an unknown man near a car before discovering an angle grinder-type tool had been used to cut the catalytic converter from a vehicle.

The Felixstowe incidents followed catalytic converter thefts in Boxford, Great Waldingfield, Bramford and Little Blakenham at the beginning of June. 

Suffolk police said it has supported a national campaign to tackle catalytic converter theft. 

A spokesman for the force said: “Nationally, theft of catalytic converters has increased over the past two years and this was reflected in what we also saw here in Suffolk, due to the increase in the price of precious metals - namely rhodium, palladium and platinum.

“In February we supported the national campaign Operation Goldjuno which involved visiting scrap metal dealers to monitor compliance and to raise awareness.

"Our engagement officers also arranged catalytic converter marking workshops at local garages and delivered prevention advice at other events.

“Reporting has dropped off and thefts are more sporadic now rather than seeing multiple targeted incidents, but the risk remains and we would urge people to remain vigilant and refer to our first principle guide for more information."