Catalytic Converter thefts in the area


We have recently seen an increase in Catalytic Converter Thefts in your area 

Unfortunately, theft of catalytic converters is a crime trend that has seen an increase nationally, with recent thefts occurring in the areas of Folkestone and Hythe.

Did you know a thief can take the catalytic converter from your car in a matter of minutes and leave you to foot the bill?

Precious metals are used in catalytic converters. The price of some of these metals has risen sharply in recent years and as a result has led to an increase in the theft of catalytic converters. 

Below is an image of a Catalytic Converter 

Vehicles that are most often targeted are hybrid vehicles, as these vehicles have two power sources, so the catalytic converter is used less frequently. The metals are less likely to corrode, meaning they are worth more and therefore more attractive to thieves. Recent thefts within Folkestone and Hythe have targeted Honda’s, Toyota and Lexus  

Hybrid cars, Vans and SUV’s are particularly at risk, as the ride height makes access to the exhaust system beneath them easier. Offenders will very swiftly, jack up the vehicle and cut off the Catalytic Converter using power tools to do so. This takes a matter of minutes. Offenders are likely to conceal their identity, for example by wearing balaclavas or will wear high-visibility vests in an attempt to look as if they are legitimately working on the vehicle.  

To reduce the risk of having your catalytic converter stolen, you should:

  • Park your car in a locked garage where possible, but 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 with the exhaust being closest to the fence, wall or kerb to make the theft more difficult
  • 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 there is a fleet of vehicles, park the low clearance vehicles to block the high clearance vehicles. This will obstruct access underneath
  • If parking in a public car park, consider parking alongside other cars and facing you bonnet towards the wall if possible. With the catalytic converter positioned at the front of your vehicle, this will make it harder for thieves to get close enough to steal it
  • For thefts occurring on driveways, consider the use of a Secured by Design (SBD) approved driveway alarm and sensor. This may assist in alerting you of a potential intruder entering your driveway or garden
  • If your catalytic converter is bolted on, you can ask for your local garage to weld the bolts to make it more difficult to remove.
  • Alternatively, you can mark your catalytic converter. Please ensure any property marking is Secured by Design (SBD) approved
  • Speak to your dealership about the possibility of installing a Thatcham approved alarm and tilt sensor that will activate the alarm should any thief try to jack the vehicle up to steal the converter  
  • If you see someone acting suspiciously under a vehicle, report it to the Police. Obtain as much information as possible, including any vehicle registrations

Dover's Community Safety Unit have a number of ‘Smartwater’ kits that can be used to forensically mark your Catalytic Converter, not only does this act as a deterrent, it also assists police in  prosecuting offenders when they are apprehended. If you have a Honda, Toyota or Lexus, please contact your local PCSO via My Community Voice and they will provide you with a kit and explain how to apply it to your vehicle.      

Please note that My Community Voice is not for reporting crimes or incidents. Instead you should:
- Report a non-urgent crime
- Talk to us via LiveChat
- Use our textphone service 18000 if you are deaf or speech impaired - or text us on 999 if you have pre-registered with the emergency SMS service
- Call 999 in an emergency, if a crime is in progress or life is in danger.

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