Fri 13 December 2019

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Warning re Catalytic Converter Theft

Alert message sent 19/09/2019 13:47:00

Information sent on behalf of Bedfordshire Police

Bedfordshire Police would like to make you aware of a small spate of theft of catalytic converters in the north of the county. Vehicles targeted have been: Toyota Prius/Auris/Yaris, Honda Jazz, Lexus RX400 and Hyundai Tucson.
The crime was almost eradicated with the introduction of new UK scrapyard legislation brought in during 2015 and, whilst current levels of this crime are nowhere near what we had experienced in the past, we cannot be complacent.
Catalytic converters are designed to remove toxins from vehicle emissions and contain small amounts of three precious metals: platinum, palladium and rhodium. These elements can only be removed by specialist recycling centres so the reality is that your catalytic converter is being sold on for just a few pounds by the thief. This means that a large number of converters need to be stolen before the thief sees any profit from their activities.
Whilst investigative work is going on in connection to these crimes, it is highly likely that stolen catalytic converters are not being presented to licensed scrapyards but taken to illegal “pop-up” sites. You can assist Bedfordshire Police by reporting any scrapyard or collection vehicle that you suspect may not be operating legally.
  • Where possible, park your vehicle in a locked garage, as close to your home as possible or in a parking spot overlooked by residents
  • Consider installing a Thatcham approved alarm to your vehicle. Ones that activate if the vehicle is lifted or tilted are particularly effective
  • Consider using a catalytic converter protection device or marking system approved by
  • There are various converter cages on the market but, as far as we can establish, none have received Secured By Design accreditation in the UK. Please research each product carefully and compare prices before buying
  • If you see someone acting suspiciously under a vehicle, report it to police. Obtain as much information as possible, including any associated vehicle registrations
  • Employ defensive parking to ensure vehicles that are most vulnerable to theft are parked where they are least accessible to thieves - consider blocking high clearance vehicles in with low clearance ones to prevent a would-be thief from getting underneath
  • Check your perimeter security - ensuring your business has an appropriate boundary fence will act as a deterrent to opportunist catalytic converter thieves
  • Use lighting to illuminate areas where an intruder may attempt to operate
  • Consider investing in monitored CCTV to provide protection for your vehicle fleet
  • Check vehicle protection measures you are considering are approved by the Association of Chief Police Officers’ Secured by Design scheme:
Reporting an emergency or a crime in progress = dial 999 immediately
Reporting a past incident or have information = dial 101
For further crime reduction advice, please email
Message sent by
Lara Curtayne (Crime Reduction Officer, Community Safety, Bedfordshire Police)

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