Purbeck Police are warning that vehicles in Swanage are currently being targeted by catalytic converter thieves.
The latest incidents happened overnight between Tuesday 4th and Wednesday 5th May 2021 in North Swanage.
Purbeck Police reported:
“Swanage – Theft of catalytic converters has occurred overnight in the Bay Crescent and Redcliffe Road areas of Swanage. Police are continuing to make enquiries, please report anything suspicious on 101 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.”
Catalytic converters are positioned under a vehicle and contain precious metals. Thieves are taking advantage of the rising value of this metal, using cordless power tools and a car jack to remove them. This can be done in under a minute.
“Visiting scrap metal dealerships in Dorset”
Recently, Dorset Police, Environment Agency and Trading Standards, said that they were coordinating their efforts against this type of theft:
“We are working with the automotive industry to property mark catalytic converters and have been visiting scrap metal dealerships in Dorset to inform them of the measures that we are taking, so that they can work with us to stop this crime.”
Vehicle owners can make it harder for thieves to steal a catalytic converter with these measures:
- Park your car in a locked garage where possible, but if this isn’t an option, then park it in a well-lit and well-populated area.
- Park close to fences, walls or a kerb with the catalytic converter (usually towards the front of the car) being closest to the fence, wall or kerb to make the theft more 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.
- If there is a fleet of vehicles, park the low clearance vehicles to block the high clearance vehicles. This will obstruct access underneath.
- If parking in a public car park, consider parking alongside other cars. With other vehicles around, this will make it harder for thieves to get close enough to steal it.
More advice is available on the Dorset Police website