Spate of catalytic converters being stolen from vans in Norfolk

Archant Norfolk Photographic © 2011

Police are urging motorists to be vigilant after a spate of catalytic converters being stolen from vans.

The warning comes after thefts in Horsford, Blofield, Sprowston and Thorpe St Andrew.

Overnight on Wednesday, August 15 thieves targeted Mercedes Sprinter vans parked in Kiln Road and Marigold Close in Horsford.

Two vehicles were targeted overnight on Monday, August 13 in Windsor Park Gardens and Mountbatten Drive in Sprowston while a van in Yarmouth Road in Thorpe St Andrew had its converter removed sometime between August 10 and 13.

Earlier in the month two vans, a Mercedes Sprinter and Citroen Relay, had their coverters removed at Sparrow Hall Farm in Blofield between 5pm on Saturday, August 4 and 10am on Monday, August 6.

Sgt Louise Wallace said: “We will be targeting patrols in key areas in a bid to catch those responsible and we would like to hear from anyone who may have seen or heard anything suspicious in these areas overnight.

“This sort of crime can be common with the price of scrap metal and we are urging drivers to take extra precautions whenever possible to try and reduce their chances of falling victim to catalytic converter theft.

“Parking parallel to another vehicle can make access difficult. It’s best to keep your vehicle in a garage if possible, and ensure it is fitted with an alarm.

“Security marking your catalytic converter can be very effective and can help to identify it as a stolen item.”

Additional advice includes:

- Private vehicles should be kept in a well-secured garage where possible, and if no garage is available, in a well-lit, public area.

- Vehicles can be parked in such a way as to make access to the catalytic converter difficult, or parallel with another vehicle if you own one.

- Commercial vehicles should also be kept in a locked building or compound.

- Use alarms, lighting and CCTV to deter thieves.

- Remove items of value from your vehicle whilst unattended and keep it secure at all times.

- Mark your catalytic converter - etching the part and spraying with heat-resistant paint. Contact your local crime reduction officer on 101 for more information.

Anyone with information about the thefts should call 101 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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