Over 80 drivers back police crackdown on catalytic converter thefts

Catalytic converter marking at Kwik Fit Huntingdon

Over 80 vehicles were given free catalytic converter marking kits by Cambridgeshire Police as the force looks to crack down on thefts. - Credit: Cambridgeshire Police

Over 80 drivers in Cambridgeshire were offered security kits by police as the crackdown in catalytic converter thefts continues. 

The security markings were carried out on 84 vehicles on July 17 to help drivers protect their vehicle against thieves. 

“One of the catalytic converters we marked had visible signs of an attempted theft emphasising the need for action to be taken, as well as our regular patrols to crackdown on these thieves,” Sergeant Jess Clarke said. 

“It takes just minutes for thieves to remove a catalytic converter and on many occasions, victims are unaware their vehicle has been targeted even though it was sat on their driveway.” 

The security marking event was the first police have held as officers and volunteer police cadets greeted drivers at Kwik Fit in Huntingdon. 

Mechanics then used the police’s Selectamark kits on vehicles ranging in makes and models. 

“The response from car owners to the event shows that many are aware of the problem and are looking for ways to deter thieves,” Will Sykes, manager of Kwik Fit Huntingdon, said. 

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“Marking these components helps make them less attractive to criminals and reduces the need for costly replacements.” 

Between June 2021 and the same month this year, Cambridgeshire Police say almost two catalytic converters have been targeted by thieves. 

The force has also seen a 54 per cent increase in reported incidents over a three-year period, from 314 in 2019 and 470 in 2020 to 727 last year. 

Sergeant Clarke added: “This is the first event of this kind we’ve held in the county.  

“It was a great success with officers, cadets and the staff at Kwik Fit all working together as a team, in hot conditions, to mark these catalytic converters.” 

Catalytic converters are found in the exhaust system of every car and reduce the output of toxic gases and pollutants.  

Stealing them has become popular because they are not easily identifiable and can be sold on for the precious metals found inside them. 

Marking the catalytic converters allows officers to identify stolen property and provide evidence for prosecutions.  

It also ensures that scrap metal merchants have a way of detecting stolen items and can refuse to purchase them. 

For more information about catalytic converter theft, visit: https://bit.ly/3OGNv9L.