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Police are investigating a series of catalytic convertor thefts across the south west of Hampshire.
There have been 20 reported since January 6, mostly in Southampton (8) but also Eastleigh (5), the New Forest (4) and Romsey (3) area.
The latest one was reported yesterday when a Peugeot 406 was targeted in Southampton Road, Eastleigh. It had happened anytime between the February 1 and 9. It was only discovered by the owner when he went to move his car off the driveway.
They are usually stolen for the precious metal within them that can be sold.. The devices contain small amounts of three precious metals - platinum, palladium and rhodium. Often the thieves saw straight through the exhaust to take it away quickly.
Some vehicles are targeted more than others including:
Mercedes including Sprinter vans
BMW cars, Vans & 4x4s
Volvos regardless of size, including HGV trucks
VWs commercials, Golf & Passat Diesels
Peugeot 406 Diesel & Fiat Diesels – All sizes.
Other vehicles with high clearance are also vulnerable.
Owners of these types of vehicles in particular are urged to take whatever precautions they can to try and prevent the catalytic convertors being stolen.
We would advise owners of all vehicles where possible to follow the advice below especially if they have one of the more vulnerable vehicles:
Where possible, park in a garage.
Alternatively, park in a location that restricts access underneath your vehicle.
Consider security lighting.
If your catalytic converter is "bolted on", you can have the bolts welded shut.
Consider the installation of CCTV to protect your vehicle.
Identify/etch your converter with a unique serial number and advertise that the vehicle has been protected (window stickers).
For business we’d also advise that you consider parking your vehicles in a secured compound and if you have a fleet of vehicles, block those with high clearance using vehicles with low clearance.
Anyone who has any information about who may be responsible for any of the catalytic convertor thefts is asked to call their local police on 101 mentioning Operation Wellington or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.