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Police issue warning after spate of catalytic converter thefts

PUBLISHED: 15:13 03 March 2020 | UPDATED: 15:13 03 March 2020

Catalytic converters were stolen from two cars at Costessey Park and Ride on the same day in broad daylight. Picture: Norfolk Police

Catalytic converters were stolen from two cars at Costessey Park and Ride on the same day in broad daylight. Picture: Norfolk Police

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Police have issued a warning to motorists to be vigilant after a spate of catalytic converter thefts across Norfolk.

Catalytic converters control exhaust emissions by cleaning the toxic gases created by car engines, and usually contain precious metals attractive to thieves.

They often contain rhodium, the price of which has rocketed over the last six months and is currently trading for more than £10,000 per ounce - more than eight times the current value of gold.

Other valuable metals often found in them can include platinum, copper and palladium, making them an ideal target for thieves.

A number of thefts of these devices have been reported within the last month, including an incident where catalytic converters were stolen from two Honda Jazz cars at the Costessey Park and Ride in broad daylight on Wednesday, February 26.

Elsewhere, similar incidents have been reported across Norfolk.

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Within the space of 24 hours, catalytic converters were taken from cars on Station Road in Cromer, on Hilda Road in Mundesley and in Ormesby, Great Yarmouth, between 12.30pm on Thursday, February 27 and 8.30am on Friday, February 28.

Officers are urging people to be vigilant and to call police if they witness anyone acting suspiciously around vehicles.

Superintendent Mike Britton, for the North Norfolk and Great Yarmouth Policing Command area, said: "Catalytic converters are prime targets for thieves because they contain premium metals platinum and rhodium.

"We have seen a considerable spike in these kind of thefts within the past couple of months and have received 25 separate reports from across the county in which vehicles have been targeted.

"I would urge drivers of all vehicles, to be vigilant and take sensible measures to prevent being a victim of this type of crime.

"Officers are currently employing a number of tactics to identify and apprehend those responsible and we would be interested to hear from anyone who may have information."

Advice issued by the police includes keeping vehicles in a secure garage if possible, parking them to make access to the catalytic converter difficult and using lighting, alarms and CCTV to deter criminals.


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