Officers in the south of Wiltshire have been working to tackle a recent rise in catalytic converter thefts.
The Fortitude team based in the Salisbury area are responsible for targeting the area’s most prolific and serious offenders.
Wiltshire Police say they have recently focused on the theft of catalytic converters and identified two suspects believed to have been involved. the suspects are due to be interviewed by police next week.
The team have 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 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 to tackling the spate of catalytic converter 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 say they understand the frustration, inconvenience and financial harm that catalytic convertor thefts cause to car owners, and they hope this proactive work highlights how seriously we take it.
A spokesperson said, “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.“