Catalytic converter theft crime prevention roadshow
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Surrey Police have joined forces with Crimestoppers and Toyota to raise awareness of catalytic converter theft in Surrey.
From Monday 28 June to Wednesday 30 June, the Crimestoppers-funded digital ad van will be travelling across the county, displaying crime prevention material and a video of a catalytic converter theft in action.
The van will also park up at a total of nine sites across the three days, where Toyota will be on hand to demonstrate a catalytic converter theft in action and explain how marking kits and locks can protect vehicles from theft. Police officers will also be at the sites to answer questions and offer crime prevention advice.
There were over 1000 catalytic converter thefts in Surrey last year. This piece of metal is situated under every vehicle near the engine, and helps to clean exhaust fumes. Every vehicle that isn’t fully electric requires a catalytic converter in order to run smoothly, and their insurance isn’t valid without one. They are highly sought-after by thieves because they contain valuable metals such as platinum, rhodium and palladium.
Matt Sessions, Problem Solving Tactical Advisor for Surrey Police, said:
“This week we are teaming up with our partners from Crimestoppers and Toyota to hit the road in the name of raising awareness of catalytic converter theft.
“Catalytic converter theft has been on the rise over the past few years in Surrey, and this trend continued in the early part of 2021. However, thanks to eagle-eyed Surrey residents spotting the signs of catalytic converter theft and calling 999, we have made 13 arrests in the last couple of months.
“We are very grateful to the public for helping us tackle this issue, and we want to keep the momentum up and make sure that catalytic converter thieves know that Surrey is a no-go zone.
“We are so grateful to our partners at Crimestoppers and Toyota for making these events possible, and together we hope that by taking to the roads of Surrey, we can help raise awareness of what catalytic converter theft looks like so you are confident that you can spot the crime and call 999.
“The more people who recognise this crime, the riskier it is for thieves to come to Surrey, so if you see us around the county this week, come and say hello!”
Glenys Balchin, Crimestoppers’ Regional Manager for Surrey and Sussex, said:
“People in our communities can help keep our streets safe by reporting crime to the Charity Crimestoppers and remain 100% anonymous. If you have information on those behind catalytic convertor theft, contact us for free on 0800 555 111 or go online.”
Greg Culshaw, General Manager for Customer, Network & Quality Support for Toyota, said:
“Toyota are delighted to participate in this event and support the work being done by the police to tackle this particularly nasty crime.”
You can see the Crimestoppers van at the following locations across Surrey:
Monday 28 June
9am-12pm – RHS Wisley
12.30pm-3pm – Ladymead Retail Park, Guildford
3.30pm-6pm – Longacres Bagshot Garden Centre
Tuesday 29 June
9am-12pm – Sainsbury’s, Cobham
12.30pm-3pm – Tesco, Addlestone
3.30pm-6pm – Tesco, Stanwell
Wednesday 30 June
9am-12pm - Epsom High Street
12.30pm-3pm – Asda, Burgh Heath
3.30pm-6pm – Tesco, Caterham-on-the-Hill
So how do you spot catalytic converter theft?
- Have you seen a car jacked up with more than one wheel off the ground, either in a car park or at the side of the road?
- Is there someone lying underneath it?
- Can you hear the sound of metal being cut using some kind of tool?
This is unlikely to be genuine vehicle maintenance. Catalytic converter thefts can happen in less than 60 seconds, so if you see it, please report it. Thieves are known to be violent, so do not approach them, but call 999.