Police are urging motorists to be vigilant after a spate of catalytic converter thefts overnight across south Norfolk.
Incidents were reported at High Road in Roydon where a Ford Ranger was targeted on a forecourt, Pretty Drive in Scole where a converter was stolen from a Citroen Relay van and in Wilderness Close in Harleston where a Peugeot 406 estate car was targeted.
Chief Inspector Stuart Armes, South Norfolk Policing Commander, urged drivers to be on their guard. He said: “Unfortunately, with the cost of scrap metal, this sort of crime can be quite common in rural areas.
“We are urging drivers to take extra precautions whenever possible to try and reduce their chances of falling victim to catalytic converter theft and we will also be targeting patrols in these areas.”
Ch Insp Armes added: “Parking parallel to another vehicle can make access difficult. It’s best to keep your vehicle in a garage if possible, and ensure it is fitted with an alarm.
“Security marking your catalytic converter can be very effective and can help to identify it as a stolen item. You can contact your local crime reduction officer on 101 for more information.”
Police are keen to hear from anyone who may have witnessed the incidents or noticed anything suspicious in the areas around the times stated.
Contact Norfolk Police on 101 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
South Norfolk Police are also offering the following advice to deter catalytic converter thefts.
1. Private vehicles should be kept in a well-secured garage where possible, and if no garage is available, in a well-lit, public area.
2. Vehicles can be parked in such a way as to make access to the catalytic converter difficult, or parallel with another vehicle if you own one.
3. Commercial vehicles should also be kept in a locked building or compound.
4. Use alarms, lighting and CCTV to deter thieves.
5. Remove items of value from your vehicle whilst unattended and keep it secure at all times.
6. Mark your catalytic converter - etching the part and spraying with heat-resistant paint. Contact your local crime reduction officer on 101 for more information.