Catalytic converters, which are fitted to vehicle exhaust systems, are targeted by thieves because of the precious metals they contain, and the active market for the units. According to our local police, a determined thief needs just 90 seconds to remove a catalytic converter.
In order to minimise the chance of becoming a victim of catalytic converter theft we offer the following recommendations:
- Lock your car in a garage when parked at night.
- When using a garage is not possible, park close to fences, walls or a kerb with the exhaust being closest to the fence, wall or kerb to make theft 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
- Look for car parks with a Secured Car Park sign which have recognised levels of security.
- Noisy gravel on your drive can help deter a would-be thief, as they don't want to alert you to their approach.
- Be aware that a car idling with a noisy exhaust, particularly at night, may be masking the sound of a theft taking place
- Consider fitting CCTV on your home or driveway, to help deter thieves.
- 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
- Use PIR or LED security lighting to make your vehicle more visible – another deterrent.
- If your catalytic converter is bolted on, consider having the bolts welded to make removal difficult.
- Fit protective coverings on catalytic converters, such as the Toyota manufactured CATLOC device.
- Have your catalytic converter etched or forensically marked, and put stickers in the windscreen to say this has been done. Please ensure any property marking is Secured by Design (SBD) approved
- Consider 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 a theft in progress, particularly where people are trying to get under cars in public car parks or on public roads, if it is safe to do so, make a record of what you see, including any vehicle registrations, and then call 999 immediately.