Sudden surge in vehicle catalytic converter thefts across county

Cambridgeshire Constabulary are urging residents to be vigilant following a surge in vehicle catalytic converter thefts. 

Cambridgeshire Constabulary are urging residents to be vigilant following a surge in vehicle catalytic converter thefts. - Credit: YouTube/Cambs Cops 

Police in Cambridgeshire are seeing a surge in catalytic converter thefts across the county after 40 incidents were reported within the last month alone.  

Since February, there have been reported thefts in Ely, Soham, Wilburton, Stretham, Wicken and all over the south – the equivalent of more than one every day. 

Toyotas and Hondas have been predominantly targeted but other vehicles including Lexus, Mercedes, Mazda and Volkswagen have also been singled out. 

Detective Inspector Nick Cook said: “We believe there are a number of groups of people coming from out of the county to carry out these thefts. 

“It takes just minutes for these people 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. 

“While we’re putting efforts in to catch those responsible, we need members of the public to call us if they suspect their vehicle is being targeted so we can deploy our resources as it’s likely they have moved on to the next street.” 

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

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

Motorists can take the following precautions to help prevent them from becoming a victim: 

  • Park your car in a garage if possible or in a lit area up against a fence/wall/other vehicle so it can’t be lifted 
  • Avoid parking half-on-half-off the pavement 
  • Consider a catalytic lock which a garage can install 
  • Fit a tilt car alarm 
  • Mark your catalytic converter 
  • Install a video doorbell and/or driveway alarm that will alert you to suspicious activity 

Anyone with information should report online at or call 101. Always call 999 if a crime is in progress. 

Further crime prevention advice is available here