• Minutes for 27th February 2023

    27th February 2023

  • Catalytic converter thefts

    Warning after thieves target cars in driveways

    Police have issued a warning after catalytic converter thieves targeted more than a dozen cars parked mainly in driveways across Norfolk.

    Over the weekend 13 such crimes were reported prompting the force to re-issue advice around how to minimise your chances of being targeted.

    The most recent incidents were across north Norfolk including in Northrepps, Cromer, Worstead, Mundesley, Hoveton, Tunstead, and Overstrand.

    Vehicles targeted were Toyota, Lexus, Honda, and BMW models.

    Generally, police suggest parking near a wall or fence to make access to the emission control devices more difficult and within CCTV or doorbell camera range, if possible.

    People can also look at getting a catloc device fitted which makes it far harder for thieves in a hurry to detach the unit. Vehicle owners can also get their catalytic converter protectively marked from some car garages.

    Officers say the thieves sometimes pose as people who are working on a vehicle.

    In the most recent series, they have noted:

    • A team of three is often used – one lookout, one driver, and one cutting person
    • Thefts occur in residential streets
    • A distraction can be used, eg loud music
    • A person carrying it away would need two hands

    As well as taking measures to protect your vehicle, prompt reporting is also key to catching the criminals.

    Anyone spotting any suspicious activity is advised not to make an approach and to call 999 immediately.

    Suspicious activity could include:

    • People ‘scouting’ the area
    • A car being jacked up
    • The loud sound of metal being cut

    Catalytic converter thefts increased across the county in late 2022.

    Initially they were reported in large, public car parks but more recently they have been happening in residential streets and in driveways.

    Toyota and Honda car models are most at risk, but all car owners should be mindful.

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