The Police are asking motorists to be vigilant following a recent
increase in thefts of catalytic converters from vehicles in the Taunton
and Bridgwater area.
Officers have been seeing an increase in thefts in recent weeks, occurring during daylight hours as well as overnight.
Catalytic converters are positioned underneath a vehicle and can take
less than a minute to cut and remove. They are attractive to thieves
due to the current high prices of the metals inside them such as
platinum, palladium or rhodium.
Unfortunately, they can be very expensive for victims to replace, particularly in newer vehicles.
While hybrid cars such as the Toyota Prius are particularly likely to
be targeted for their catalytic converters, we’re currently receiving
reports about thefts from various types of vehicles.
If you see someone acting suspiciously around a vehicle, report it to
police on 101. Ideally, provide a vehicle registration/make/model and
colour, and a description of the suspects. If you witness a crime in
progress, call 999.
Additionally, if you have any information specifically relating to
recent catalytic converter thefts in the Taunton/Bridgwater area which
could assist our enquiries, please call 101 and quote reference number
To help prevent your vehicle being targeted, we’d encourage motorists to follow the crime prevention advice below:
- 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, where
neighbours and passers-by could see anyone tampering with your vehicle
- Park strategically! In order to steal the parts, thieves need to
slide under the vehicle and use cutting tools to detach the box from the
pipes around it. This means parking your car close to fences, walls or
kerbs will make theft much 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
- If parking in a public car park, consider parking alongside other
cars and facing your 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.
- 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
also purchase a ‘cage clamp’ which is a caged device that locks around
the converter to make it more difficult to remove.
- You can also etch a serial number onto the converter to assist
police should yours be stolen. Some garages will do this for you, and
you will also be provided with a sticker to be displayed in your window
indicating your catalytic converter is marked to deter offenders from
targeting your vehicle.
- For further security, you can speak to your dealership about the
possibility of adding a tilt sensor that will activate the alarm should a
thief try to jack the vehicle up to steal the converter.