Catalytic converters from cars in Watford and Hertsmere are being targeted by thieves, with 29 overall being nicked in just two weeks at one stage.
The last two weeks of January saw thieves steal 15 of the exhaust emission control devices from cars in Hertsmere – making it the most targeted area in Hertfordshire for that period ahead of Watford (14) and Broxbourne (11).
Catalytic converters, which are fitted to vehicle exhaust systems, are targeted by thieves because of the precious metals they contain. Due to where these units are located on the vehicle, they are difficult to access and remove.
Inspector Nicola Dean, from Hertfordshire Constabulary’s Crime Reduction Unit, said: “Thieves have been targeting specific models and we will be writing to owners of pre 2008 Honda Jazz models, Toyota Prius (2004 to 2016 inclusive) and Toyota Arius (2012 to 2018 inclusive), to offer free catalytic converter marking. Anyone else who would like to arrange free catalytic convertor marking can contact Crime Prevention Officer Darren Cowell on Darren.firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 01707 354668.
“Stealing these units is not easy as offenders need to get under or jack up a vehicle and would need to use noisy power tools. We urge the public to remain vigilant and report incidents of suspected catalytic converter theft, particularly where people are trying to get under cars in public car parks or on public roads. If you see this happening, please call 999 immediately.”
For crime prevention advice, visit herts.police.uk/crimeprevention.