West Midlands Police have issued a warning to drivers in the region to be on their guard against catalytic converter thefts, as a spate of such incidents has been seen in Walsall.
According to the Birmingham Mail, vans are being jacked up and these important car parts taken, with victims of this particular crime left facing potential fines of up to £2,500 as a result.
A West Midlands Police spokesman was quoted by the news source as saying: “In recent days, we have recorded a spate of thefts of catalytic converters from these vehicles in various areas including Willenhall, Bloxwich, Darlaston and Aldridge. Take steps to protect your vehicle, such as parking in well-lit places or in a place where access to the vehicle is restricted.”
Converters are targets for thieves because of the precious metals they contain but drivers could be doubly affected by such thefts because hitting the road without a converter in place could see the car in question break legal pollution limits. This could result in a fine of up to £1,000 for cars and £2,500 for vans, lorries and buses.
If you notice that your check engine light comes on or if your exhaust sounds a lot louder than usual, getting louder as you accelerate, take your car to your local garage immediately.
Wherever possible, motorists should park vehicles in a locked garage as close to their house as they can, or somewhere that’s overlooked by local residents. You may also want to consider installing a Thatcham approved alarm to your vehicle that is activated if the car or van is lifted or tilted.
If you see someone acting suspiciously underneath a vehicle, report it to the police straightaway – and make sure you note down the vehicle registration.
Businesses can help to protect their fleets by employing defensive parking techniques so that the most vulnerable cars or vans are parked somewhere particularly inaccessible. High clearance vehicles could be blocked in by low clearance ones to prevent thieves from gaining access.
Always check your perimeter security on a regular basis, as boundaries can help deter opportunistic thieves from targeting you and your company. Set up monitored CCTV cameras so you can catch people in the act and light up dark areas where intruders may possibly attempt to operate.
You might well think that your vehicle will be safe during the day but it seems that this is not the case, with reports coming in late last year that thieves are now stripping cars of their converters in broad daylight… so do be vigilant no matter what time of day or night it is.
Are you looking for a cheap catalytic converter? Get in touch with us here at Catman today to find out how we can help keep your car roadworthy and safe to drive.