Warning Of Thefts Of Catalytic Converters from Vehicles

Some advice from the OWL neighbourhood watch service


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The latest communication from the OWL neighbourhood watch system has highlighted a growing problem with theft of catalytic converters.

Following on recent reports about thefts of cars’ catalytic converters (CAT), a local resident has done some research and it appears that this kind of theft is not new. Thieves have been after easy to reach (CAT) found in vans & SUVs. Old Honda Jazz & CR-V have also been a target.

What does a Catalytic Converter do?

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.

Why are CAT stolen?

“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.

How do I know my catalytic converter was stolen?

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.

Reports from Garages

I have contacted several garages across Ealing. The area of concentrated activities seems to be Hayes and Hanwell with emphasis on Lidl car park in Hayes, as a hotspot. 6 Honda Jazz were targeted this week.

I have spoken with someone in the motor trade and the issue is also within many manufacturers notably older models of cars as the exhaust is easily reached. 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.

Prevention Tips

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.

OWL Neighbourhood Watch


September 1, 2018

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