An elderly resident who recently had his catalytic converter stolen from his vehicle outside his home is urging others to be vigilant.
Three men approached Suguna Theva’s white Honda Jazz in broad daylight, which was parked outside his home on The Drive, Northwood (pictured), and nicked the piece of machinery from underneath the car.
Mr Theva, 89, told NorthwoodNews: “My neighbour told me they were in and out in no longer than 10 minutes.”
Catalytic converters, which are pricey and easy to steal, change harmful substances in a car’s exhaust gasses into less harmful substances by means of chemical reactions.
Mr Theva, who is a semi-active member of Northwood’s neighbourhood watch, believes Honda Jazz’s such as his are a real target for car-part thieves locally.
He said: “Speaking to mechanics, they tell me the platinum metal on the Honda Jazz is very costly. Thieves can make a lot of money selling these on and are relatively easy to remove on this model.”
In order to minimise the chance of becoming a victim, police offer the following advice:
In order to minimise the chance of becoming a victim we offer the following advice:
- Lock your car whenever it is left unattended and keep it in a garage when parked at night if possible.
- 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.
- Consider fitting CCTV on your home or driveway, to help deter thieves.
- Use PIR or LED security lighting to make your vehicle more visible and this can also act as a 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, (these are made for Toyota Prius made between 2004 and 2009) as these can make it much more difficult for thieves.
- Have your catalytic converter etched or forensically marked, and put stickers in the windscreen to say this has been done.
- Look for car parks with a Secured Car Park sign which have recognised levels of security. If you have a garage at home, ensure you use it and lock it properly.
- Noisy gravel on your drive can help deter a would-be thief, as they don’t want to alert you to their approach.
- Never leave valuable items or tools on display in your vehicle as this may encourage a thief to break in.