Local Spike In Thefts Of Catalytic Converters

OWL neighbourhood watch service warns residents to be vigilant


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There has been a recent spike in catalytic converter thefts in the Chiswick and Brentford area with suspects often seen to be wearing Balaclavas and/or Hi-vis jackets. The warning has come from the OWL neighbourhood watch service

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.

Catalytic Converter
Catalytic Converter

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 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.

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November 8, 2019

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