Another Spike In Thefts Of Catalytic Converters
Chiswick targeted by gangs stealing under cover of darkness
There has been a recent spike in catalytic converter thefts in the Chiswick area with residents from across the area reporting thefts.
This is the second time in two months that Chiswick has been targeted and social media reports that vehicles in Ealing, Brentford, and Hammersmith are also being preyed upon by gangs of thieves.
One local told chiswickw4.com that his converter was stolen while parked on the street in a residents' parking bay near his home last Saturday. When he went to a local garage to have it replaced, there were two other vehicles there who had also had their CAT's stolen.
He said, "The thieves cut out the CC from my car on Friday evening/Saturday morning and it's going to cost me £700 to have it replaced. Even if I get it replaced I am concerned that they will just target me again.
"Unless the police target the people buying the stolen CC’s this will continue to be an epidemic. They get £200 for each CC as they contain precious metals."
Another reader reported on our forum that a friend of his had the catalytic converter stolen only three days after getting delivery of a new car.
The OWL neighbourhood watch scheme reported a similar spike in both Brentford and Chiswick last November and issued the following advice;
If you seen anyone suspicious carrying a angle grinder tool or looking under vehicles then call the police. Do not approach the suspects as they are known to be violent.
Thieves have generally sawn off the converters - so please be mindful where you keep your vehicle, and report anyone acting suspiciously near a vehicle. If you suspect your catalytic converter has been stolen, report it immediately on 101.
The main function of a catalytic converter is to clean up the exhaust gases from an engine before they exit the exhaust pipe. It is a small filter that looks like a honeycomb which the thieves are usually after.
“Catalytic’ refers to the chemical reaction that takes place inside the converter with the help of “catalyst” material which is usually metal such as platinum, palladium or rhodium.
Thieves are after these precious metals that are found inside the filter.
When stealing a CAT the muffler is disconnected, so your vehicle will sound very loud. In this case, the vehicle should not be driven and instead, it should be towed to a garage.
Changes have happened in the past few years and the CAT now sits higher and nearer to the engine making access to it a bit more difficult.
Raise awareness of the issue in your community and report immediately any suspicious activities by calling 999.
Consider installing CCTV devices as major deterrents and could cost less than replacing a CAT.
There are anti-theft systems, locks and “motion” alarms, which can be purchased and fitted. Search online for "catalytic converter lock".
Officers say they will continue to engage with the local communities to try and identify issues early and intervene to prevent issues escalating. The use of OWL to flag any instances to the Police will play a key role in maintaining this reduction.
Residents can register for OWL at www.owl.co.uk.
January 14, 2020