Motorists warned over catalytic converter thefts after one force records 180 in just 12 months
Police are warning motorists to take precautions when parking after one force recorded 180 catalytic converter thefts in just 12 months.
Officers in Derbyshire say the incidents in the county are usually from vehicles parked in large car parks in Derby, Chesterfield and Glossop, with the latest two happening earlier this week.
However, they say the problem is a nationwide one, adding that they are working with police forces in counties around Derbyshire to catch the criminals behind the spate and protect the public.
Detective Chief Inspector Harry Rai of Derbyshire police, said: "These types of offences are a national issue and in Derbyshire alone over the last 12 months we have seen 180 reported offences.
“I want 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.”
A catalytic converter is a device fitted to vehicle exhausts that reduces the toxic gases and pollutants released into the environment.
Precious metals must be used because the converters have to work efficiently enough to meet emissions standards. They are being stolen because of the value of these precious metals and thefts have been gradually increasing over the year.
DCI Rai added: “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.”
Advice on how to prevent your catalytic converter from being stolen can be found on the Derbyshire Police website.