Last month it was announced that there was a large rise in the amount of catalytic converter thefts. The converters that were targeted were primarily from commercial vans and 4x4s.
It was reported that, between January 1st and the end of May there were 249 thefts, compared to 47 in the same five months last year. These catalytic converter attacks have been located around Leicestershire and a large number of those with commercial van insurance have been falling victim to the thefts.
The police believe that organised gangs are behind the thefts. They also believe the stolen units are being sent overseas in order for them to then be stripped of metal.
Tackling The Issue
Rich Ward, Detective Chief Inspector, has been quoted saying: “The theft of catalytic converters has risen significantly over the past year and this is something that has been seen nationally. The increase in the cost of scrap metal is believed to have led to the increase in thefts. Patrols have been increased in areas of high thefts and we are working with neighbouring forces to tackle the problem.”
He then went on to add: “I would urge people to call police if they see any suspicious vehicles or activity in their area. It is important that we work closely with the community to locate those responsible and bring them to justice. That includes those that are stealing them and those that are handling and disposing of them.”
It has also been reported that this trend has been seen across Leicester and the county in general and Rob Widdowson, Detective Inspector, who is leading the campaign against vehicle crime in Leicester, has stated that commercial vehicles are easy targets for thieves due to the fact that the catalytic converters are easily accessible.
He has been commenting: “Overall, vehicle crime in the city is down, but this particular strand is showing a considerable increase. We think it’s people who are more specialised than the normal thieves who target cars and it is possible they are moving around the country.”
This seems to be an ongoing issue and commercial vehicle drivers must be vigilant and report any suspicious behaviour in order to assist the police in clamping down on these thefts.