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Nottinghamshire Catalytic Converter Thefts

June 7th, 2012

Metal thieves hit the road in crime spike

Updated on 25th May 2012

They convert harmful emissions from your car to less toxic substances, but more and more thieves are seeking to convert catalytic converters to cash.

Despite Force-wide decreases in metal theft in the year-to-date, including a 33% reduction in the County Division, police are warning motorists about a spate of catalytic converter thefts in some areas of the county.

Since the beginning of April 2012, there have been 112 catalytic converters stolen in the County Division – 94 more than the same period last year. And the thefts are increasing by the week.

Sherwood has been the worst affected, with 38 thefts (37 more than the same period last year). Bassetlaw East and Rushcliffe South follow with 21 (compared to 20) and 16 (compared to 0) respectively.

Three arrests have been made in connection with the recent thefts. Two Doncaster men, aged 24 and 28, and a Leeds man, aged 19, have been bailed pending further enquiries.

Chief Inspector Sean Anderson, Force and region lead for metal theft reduction, said: “We have recently experienced an unprecedented rise in the number catalytic converters stolen in Nottinghamshire, and specifically in the Bassetlaw, Newark and Sherwood, and Rushcliffe areas of the county.

“There were 16 recorded in January in total in the county. So far this month, 80 catalytic converters have been stolen.

“But we are not the only area experiencing such an issue. This is a regional and national problem.

“As with other crimes of this nature, we are looking at offenders from across the region, and have a number of suspects, including organised groups, on our radar. We are now seeking to gather the evidence to bring them to justice.

“We have a number of tactics in place, including extra patrols in hotspot areas and on main arterial routes into and out of the county, but we are also appealing to the community to help us in our quest to reverse this increase by reporting suspicious activity, such as people working under vehicles in an ad-hoc manner, and doing what they can to secure their property.”

The cost to the victim for replacement of a stolen catalytic converter can cost £1,000s, not to mention the increases in their insurance premium. The thief would be lucky to get £200, depending upon metal content.

According to statistics, peak days for catalytic converter thefts have been Sundays and Tuesday, with thieves tending to strike overnight.

All types of vehicles are targeted, with vans topping the table at 35 incidents, but followed closely by pick-up trucks at 33 incidents and cars at 32 incidents. Businesses are being urged to tighten-up their security after occasions when a number of work vehicles have been targeted on the same night.

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