Witness appeal following catalytic converter theft and assault in Thames Ditton
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We are appealing for witnesses following several catalytic converter thefts yesterday evening (13 November).
Surrey Police were initially called reporting a catalytic converter theft which occurred around 6:30pm on Cumberland Drive in Esher. Officers were then called to Thistledene in Thames Ditton shortly before 7pm following reports of three members of the public being assaulted by a group of men attempting to steal a catalytic converter from a car. The suspects also stole the victim’s dog, which was later found unharmed at Hampton Court train station.
One of the victims was taken to hospital with serious injuries to her arm and has since been discharged.
Detective Sergeant Victoria Algate said:
“We are appealing to anyone who may have witnessed anything in the area last night to contact us with any information. We believe that these two reports are connected and that the suspects were travelling in a silver saloon shaped vehicle, which may have been driving erratically in the area around that time.”
If you have any information which could help, please contact us quoting crime reference number PR/45210120440 via
If you do not wish to leave your name, please call the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111
Thieves are attracted by the potential to steal the valuable metals palladium and rhodium. The best way to prevent theft is to make access to your car’s converter as inconvenient and difficult as possible.
Here are some tips to prevent catalytic converter theft:
Park in as well-lit areas where possible.
Park close to building entrances or the nearest road in public car parks. This leaves your vehicle in a location where many people can see it.
If you have a garage use it and keep it locked.
Consider CCTV if your vehicle is parked on your driveway or a RING-type device.
Adjust the security system on your car or have one installed that will activate upon vibration, such as those produced by a saw.
Consider ID Etching - Etching a catalytic converter with a serial number will help police track a stolen converter and overtly advertising that a vehicle is protected by property marking may also deter offenders as it will potentially reduce the opportunities for selling on the converters at reputable scrap metal dealers. More information on ID etching can be found at www.retainagroup.co.uk
Consider welded bolts - If a catalytic converter is a ‘bolt on’ it is possible to have the bolts welded shut. This is only a deterrent to the lowest grade of catalytic converter thief working with a wrench but may still be enough of a deterrent to help prevent a theft.
Report suspicious activity to the Police. Obtain as much information as possible, including any vehicle registrations.