Catalytic converter theft: South Yorkshire Police partners with Halfords to clamp down on car crime

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South Yorkshire Police has announced a new scheme in partnership with Halfords that aims to clamp down on catalytic converter thefts in the area.

Catalytic converter theft is a huge business in Sheffield despite not many people knowing exactly what they are, or why they’re valuable. Thieves are after them because they contain precious metal, which has a high sell-on value.

Police have said it is a crime that can be tackled with prevention methods and advice.

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One way the force is doing this is be coming to an agreement with Halfords and Toyota, which means motorists who go in and ask can have SmartWater applied for free to their catalytic converter which reduces the risk of it being targeted.

South Yorkshire PoliceSouth Yorkshire Police
South Yorkshire Police

Forensic marking liquids, like SmartWater, are perfect to use as a deterrent, as they are easily detectable by legitimate scrap yards and metal traders.

Once registered, catalytic converters can then be traced back to their owners if they’re stolen.A sticker will also be placed in the vehicles window, to act as a visible deterrent to would-be thieves.

Detective Inspector Lee Townley said: “We are carrying out extensive enforcement activity around this, including routine visits to scrap yards, but crime prevention methods are essential.

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“However, by scheduling an appointment with your local Halfords store, you can greatly assist us in preventing these crimes and securing your vehicle.”

Dan Falcon, is Centre Manager at Halfords in Barnsley: "We have seen people come to us over the last year after they've been a victim of catalytic converter theft, so we know it matters to people."