Catalytic converter thefts rose by 368 per cent between January and June this year, amounting to 440 reports to Dorset Police, compared to 94 thefts during the same period in 2020.
Catalytic converter thefts can leave victims with pricey repair bills, increased premiums or even having their vehicles written off.
Superintendent Heather Dixey said: “Our officers are working hard to prevent this crime. A number of vehicles being used to commit these offences have been seized recently and our crime scene investigators are working hard to forensically link offenders to these vehicles and the crimes.
“Dorset Police acknowledges that this is a concern for our communities and we are doing everything we can to prevent it, but this crime can happen in a matter of seconds. We are asking for your help. We can’t stop this crime without you, so if you know something please help your community and contact us.”
Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner David Sidwick said: “The theft of a catalytic converter can have a huge impact if, like many of us, you rely on your vehicle. I’d like to reassure people that a huge amount of work is being done between the police and partner agencies to crack down on this crime, but people need to be aware that it is a growing problem.
“Please, be aware of the police advice to motorists about what you can do to reduce the chance of becoming a victim. And if you do see anything suspicious, make sure you report it immediately.”
There are ways you can protect your catalytic converter from thieves.
Think about where you park. If you can, park your vehicle in a locked garage. If this isn’t an option, then park it in a well-lit and well-populated area. Park close to fences, walls or a kerb and avoid parking your vehicle half on the pavement and half on the road, as this may make it easier for thieves to access the catalytic converter. If you are parking in a public car park, consider parking alongside other vehicles. This will make it harder for thieves to get close enough to get underneath the vehicle.
You can mark your catalytic converter with a unique code that will relate back to your vehicle. This is done using SmartWater and is an incredibly effective way of preventing theft. SmartWater is a forensic liquid, which can withstand heat of up to 600 degrees. It can be applied to car parts and each batch has a unique code which allows it to be traced back to the owner.
You can report any information to us online at dorset.police.uk/do-it-online. Alternatively, you can contact Crimestoppers, an independent charity working to help communities on 0800 555 111.
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