Police have warned residents to ‘be on the alert’ after a spate of catalytic converter thefts across Gedling borough.
Vehicles in Gedling and Carlton have been targeted over recent days.
Officers said they have received four reports of catalytic converter thefts between Tuesday (March 9, 2021) and this morning (March 12, 2021).
These incidents, which are currently being treated as linked, happened in Florence Road, Gedling, and in First Avenue, Moreland Court and South View Road in Carlton.
During the South View Road incident, which happened shortly after 9pm yesterday (Thursday 11 March 2021), the victim disturbed offenders after seeing them go underneath his car holding a battery-operated saw in an attempt to take the catalytic converter.
The increase in these thefts is a national, and even an international issue, as the catalytic converters contain two valuable metals – rhodium and palladium – the cost of which increased during 2020 and has recently gone up again.
Hybrid cars are particularly vulnerable because their converters contain a higher concentration of precious metals and are generally less corroded. It is believed gangs operate looking for cars to target as they can steal the catalytic convertors within minutes by using a few basic tools.
Inspector Chris Pearson, Neighbourhood Policing Inspector responsible for local policing in the Gedling borough area, said: “As a force we are absolutely determined to crack down on this issue and track down those responsible.
“Whilst officers are working tirelessly to investigate these offences and we have upped our patrols in targeted locations, I am urging people to be vigilant and if they spot any suspicious vehicles or people in their area to call 999 immediately as this will be treated as a crime in progress.
“These thieves will target cars at any time during the day or night so if you see someone acting suspiciously under a vehicle, please report it. Obtain as much information as possible, including any vehicle registrations.”
Inspector Pearson added: “Victims of catalytic converter thefts are left with costly repair bills and without a car, something which can have a huge impact on their lives and leaves them unable to get to work or make important journeys.
“However, there are a number of things vehicle owners can do to offer themselves further protection.“The first thing to do is to find out where your catalytic converter is located on your car. If it’s at the front then park with the bonnet towards a wall if possible. If it’s at the back, park with your exhaust to the wall.
“Avoid parking half on the pavement and half on the road as this may make it easier for thieves to get under your car.
“If your catalytic converter is bolted on, you can ask your local garage to weld the bolts to make it more difficult to remove. You can even purchase a ‘cage clamp’, a device which makes converters more difficult to remove.”Another option for drivers is to ask their garage or dealership to fit a tilt sensor, which activates an alarm if anyone tries to jack the vehicle up to steal the converter.”
Anyone spotting a crime in progress is urged to ring 999. Anyone with any other information is asked to ring 101, or report it anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.