Police are urging residents to remain vigilant following an increase in in the number of catalytic converter thefts across the county.
Over the past week officers have received at least nine reports of catalytic converter thefts in Northwich, Middlewich, Warrington, Holmes Chapel and Handforth.
The offenders have targeted a number of vehicles including Honda Jazz, Toyota Auris, Honda Accord and Toyota Corolla.
Inspector Anton Sullivan, of Cheshire Constabulary’s Roads and Crime Unit, added: “Catalytic converter thefts are on the rise across the country, with offenders predominantly targeting hybrid vehicles.
“I would like to reassure residents that we are doing all we can to identify those responsible and bring them to justice.
“At this time our enquiries in relation to these recent incidents remain ongoing and we are keeping an open mind as to whether they are linked.
“Car owners can also play a significant role in tackling catalytic converter thefts by being vigilant, reviewing any security measures they have in place and calling the police on 101 as soon as possible if they see anyone removing catalytic converters or acting suspiciously in car parks, on driveways or anywhere else where vehicles are left.
“In addition, we urge scrap metal dealers to be mindful if they are ever offered catalytic converters or exhaust systems and to contact us if they suspect that they could have been stolen.”
Cheshire Constabulary’s tips on how motorists can reduce their chances of becoming a victim are:
- If possible, park your car in a garage
- If your car is at high risk, consider marking the metal shell of the converter with a unique mark, so that if it is stolen it will be easier to trace back to your vehicle
- If your catalytic converter is bolted on, the bolts can be welded shut – this would not stop a determined thief but would slow them down
- Giving some consideration to the way your car is parked could reduce the chances of your catalytic converter being stolen – high and low clearance vehicles being parked close together make it more difficult for a thief to gain access to converters
- Good quality lighting will improve natural surveillance and make a thief less likely to be able to remove a catalytic converter without being seen
- Leaving your car in an area covered by CCTV may also deter thieves – CCTV systems should be well signed.
Anyone with any information or footage regarding catalytic converter thefts in Cheshire is asked to call 101, give the details via https://www.cheshire.police.uk/ro/report or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.