Catalytic converter thefts double in containment: these are the most targeted models and the regions where you are most at risk Bedford News

Catalytic converter thefts have more than doubled in the past year, according to police data.

Figures obtained by consumer group Which ones? show a 104% increase in thefts between 2019 and 2020, prompting drivers to take action to protect their cars.

Figures of 25 forces in England, Wales and Northern Ireland are echoed by recent data compiled by the RAC and insurer Ageas, which showed that thefts of the critical component increased during the lockdown. Claims submitted to Ageas for such crimes represented 30% of all cases in 2020, up from 20% in 2019.

Thefts of catalytic converters are on the rise

Catalytic converters, which filter pollutants from a vehicle’s exhaust gases, are a prime target for thieves because they are relatively easy to remove and packaged with precious metals that can be mined and traded. The converters feature a combination of platinum, palladium and rhodium, prices of which hit a record high earlier this year, up 200% from March 2020.

However, devices are expensive to replace, and in some cases their theft can cause a car to lose value. The parts themselves can cost over £ 1,000 and the AA has estimated that repairing damage caused by their removal can cost as much as £ 3,000.

Regions with the most catalytic converter theft

Police figures showed that, predictably given its size, the majority of thefts took place in London. A total of 13,716 incidents were recorded in the capital in 2020, which, according to police, makes it the global epicenter of catalytic converter thefts.

Converters help reduce harmful emissions from cars by using filters made with precious metals

Behind them, West Midlands Police reported the second highest number of cases, with 1,625 incidents, ahead of Hertfordshire (896) and Leicestershire (585).

The data also showed that incidents were skyrocketing in some areas of strength. North Wales Police saw a 411% increase in cases between 2019 and 2020, while Merseyside (295%), Suffolk (272%) and Norfolk (250%) also saw significant increases. Only three forces – Cumbria, Humberside and Police Service of Northern Ireland – have reported a reduction in cases, dropping between 20 and 59%.

Separate data from Ageas showed that most thefts took place while cars were parked at the house, either in the driveway or on the road, although in a very small number of cases thieves were brazen enough to steal them from supermarket parking lots while the driver was shopping.

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Toyota offers free catalytic converter protection to owners of older cars

(Graphic: Kim Mogg / JPI Media)

Cars most likely to experience catalytic converter theft

The new figures of Which? reflects recent data from Admiral Insurance showing which cars are most likely to be targeted by thieves.

The figures of Which? show that the Toyota Prius, Toyota Auris and Honda Jazz are the most commonly targeted models, with Admiral also pointing out many examples of Lexus RXs.

All of these models are hybrids, which are particularly popular with thieves because their converters do not work as hard as in other vehicles and therefore the precious metals they contain are less corroded.

How to protect your car from catalytic converter theft

Simon Williams of RAC gives some simple tips to make your vehicle a less attractive target: “Most auto crimes take place at night, so it makes sense to park a vehicle in a well-lit, residential area, or ideally in a garage. if available. When you are away from home, look for car parks that are monitored and covered by CCTV.

Police forces across the country have also posted other actions you can take, including:

Park near fences, walls or curbs with the exhaust closest to the barrier; this will make the flight more difficult

Avoid getting your car on the sidewalk to park as this allows thieves easy access

If your catalytic converter is bolted, have your local garage weld the bolts to make it more difficult to remove.

Consider a “cage clamp” that locks around the converter or have the unit engraved with a unique ID number

Talk to your car dealership about a tilt sensor that activates the alarm if someone tries to lift your vehicle

If you see someone acting suspiciously under a vehicle, report it to the police

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This notice was published: 2021-06-21 10:30:32

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