Catalytic converter theft is a national crime wave across the country. Catalytic converters are filters that fit to a car’s exhaust pipe near the front end to reduce emissions.
Rickmansworth has seen increasing reports of thefts of these devices in recent months and although some arrests have been made, Police say offenders are still at large.
Residents should stay vigilant after reports of multiple thefts on Shepherds Way, Valley Road, and car parks on Homestead Road.
Alan Waller from the Rickmansworth Safer Neighbourhood Team explained: “Metal theft has been an issue in the past and the introduction of scrap metal licenses in 2013 did appear to significantly reduce crime. The value of precious metals contained inside a catalytic converter has risen dramatically. It is suspected that stolen catalytic converters are being sold on the black market.
“The actual theft can take as little as two minutes to execute, quite often involving someone with a hydraulic trolley jack. The offender will use a cordless electric saw or angle grinder to cut through either end of the exhaust to retrieve the catalytic converter, which is why some residents have reported hearing a loud noise or drilling.
“Anyone seen jacking up a car in the street like this should be reported to Police straight away. This is a priority for Police and we want to continue to make arrests to deter criminals coming into our area.”
Police are working in partnership with garages that offer free catalytic converter marking. The closest participating garage is New Road Service Station, Croxley Green, WD3 3EP.
Hertfordshire Police warn that pre-2008 Honda Jazz models, Toyota Prius (2004 to 2016 inclusive) and Toyota Arius (2012 to 2018 inclusive) are more likely to be targeted.
Herts Police website has tips and advice on preventing catalytic converter theft.
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