Lincolnshire Police warning after catalytic converter theft spike

Owners of a set of commonly-targeted vehicles are being warned by police of a rise in the number of catalytic converter thefts in the county.

The spike in thefts, particularly from Honda Accord V-Type and VTEC variants, registered between 1998 and 2004, has lead to officers writing to vehicle owners, warning them to be vigilant.

Mercedes Sprinter Vans are also amongst the most commonly targeted vehicles but police said the problem is not exclusive to these two types, with various 4X4s, Fords, Mazdas, Toyotas and Peugeot 307s also featuring in recent incidents.

A Lincolnshire Police spokesperson said: “Thieves are quickly able to remove the catalytic converters from these vehicles and, whilst the cost of replacement of the units themselves may not seem high, owners can be left with expensive repair bills due to the additional damage being done to the vehicles during the theft.”

Owners are being offered the following advice to reduce opportunities for thieves:

  • If you can, park your vehicle in a locked garage when it’s unattended. If you park your vehicle on your driveway, consider making it harder to get at by blocking it with another vehicle.
  • If it’s not possible to garage your vehicle, park it in a busy, well-lit area as close to your property as possible, and tell your neighbours to be aware of bogus mechanics working on vehicles or other suspicious activity.
  • Find out how expensive your vehicle’s catalytic converter is to replace. Whilst it’s not a hard and fast rule, newer items that are expensive to replace are more likely to be sold complete, whilst older items or those units that are less expensive to replace are more likely to be broken down for their metal content. If your converter is expensive to replace, consider registering and marking it with a catalytic converter marking and registration product as a minimum.
  • Whatever the cost of the replacement part, the cost and inconvenience of replacing your catalytic converter in addition to the extra cost of repairing the additional damage to your vehicle can be very high. Purpose designed and police approved catalytic converter alarm system can be purchased for under £200.
  • If you use a security device or a marking system, advertise it by placing the supplied window stickers prominently in your vehicle.

For further advice, people can contact their local Crime Prevention Officer using 101 or email crime-reduction@lincs.pnn.police.uk.