Proactive work to tackle catalytic convertor thefts in south Wiltshire

Alert message sent 12/05/2022 16:08:00

Information sent on behalf of Wiltshire Police

Officers in the south of Wiltshire have been working to tackle a recent rise in catalytic convertor thefts.

The Fortitude team based in the Salisbury area are responsible for targeting the area’s most prolific and serious offenders.

They have recently focused in on the theft of catalytic convertors and identified two suspects believed to have been involved, and they are due to be interviewed by police next week.

The team also identified a vehicle believed to have been used during recent thefts, and this has been seized.

Additionally, they have visited a number of metal recycling sites to speak to staff there about the issue, so they are aware of the relevant law.

Under the Scrap Metal Act 2013, the purchase of scrap metal by these companies has been become well regulated. Records relating to all sales of all catalytic convertors have been viewed by the officers and further arrests are pending.

Detective Sergeant Darren Penny, from the Fortitude South team, said: “Today has been a really positive day in regards tackling the spate of catalytic convertor thefts and building relationships with scrap metal merchants in the local area.

“We have obtained vital information surrounding those selling these valuable items, the vehicles they are using and their home addresses.

“The two suspects identified through our enquiries are being dealt with, are due to be interviewed and our investigation is ongoing.”

Wiltshire Police understands the frustration, inconvenience and financial harm that catalytic convertor thefts cause to car owners, and we hope this proactive work highlights how seriously we take it.

We would encourage people to report suspicious activity to us and also consider some steps they can take to help keep their vehicle safe.

- 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 exhaust 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 parking in a public car park, consider parking alongside other cars and facing your bonnet towards the wall if possible. With the catalytic converter positioned at the front of your vehicle, this will make it harder for thieves to get close enough to steal it
- If there is a fleet of vehicles, park the low clearance vehicles to block the high clearance vehicles. This will obstruct access underneath
- If your catalytic converter is bolted on, you can ask for your local garage to weld the bolts to make it more difficult to remove.
Alternatively, you can also etch a serial number on the converter
- You can even purchase a ‘cage clamp’ which is a cage device that locks in around the converter to make it more difficult to remove.

We would also encourage anybody who witnesses any suspicious activity that could be linked to catalytic converter theft to report this to the police.

Please note as much information as possible, including any vehicle details or registration plates, and call us on 101 or 999 if a crime is in progress.
Message sent by
Siobhan Stayt (Police, Media Officer, Wiltshire)

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