Thieves continue to steal catalytic converters for their precious metals, including rhodium, platinum, and palladium which neutralise harmful exhaust gasses and are valuable when recycled.
The scrap value of some of these metals is so high they are worth more than gold. A catalytic converter can sell for more than £500 on the black market.
With the rise of hybrids in recent years, the problem has got increasingly worse. With dedicated gangs who are able to remove a converter from beneath a car in a matter of moments, leaving victims with a huge repair bill.
On average, nearly one hundred catalytic converters are being reported stolen each month in Hertfordshire.
Herts Police’s ongoing Operation Feline, has been working in partnership with garages who are offering a free catalytic converter marking service. This is a unique serial number etched in.
Here are some steps you can take yourself to reduce the opportunity for crooks to pinch your catalytic converter:
- Park the rear of the car against walls, fences or kerbs will make access more difficult.
- Don’t park your half on the pavement because it is then easier for the thieves to get underneath it.
- Diesel vans or other high clearance vehicle with catalytic converter markings or secure fixings can put thieves off.
- Park in a garage or other secure area if possible.
- Catalytic converter security may reduce your car insurance.
- If your catalytic converter is bolted on, consider having the bolts welded to make removal difficult.
- Get a sign in your window saying your “catalytic converter has been marked”
Commonly targeted models include:
- pre 2008 Honda Jazz models,
- Toyota Prius (2004 to 2016 inclusive)
- Toyota Arius (2012 to 2018 inclusive)
Toyota has its own device, called a Catloc. The Catloc has over 45 bespoke fitments, which should fit quite a few models in the range. The Catloc costs between £200 and £250 (depending on model), includes VAT and fitting by a Toyota retailer.
Operation Feline – garages
These garages provide free security marking for catalytic converters.
Fastfit Cheshunt, Di Paola House, Delamare Road, Cheshunt,EN8 9SH – 01992 641272
S & T Autos, 167 High St, Berkhamsted, HP4 3HB. Contact: 01442 876210
Kwik Fit, 95 South St, Bishop’s Stortford, CM23 3AL. Contact: 01279 658110
Kwik Fit, Unit 4, Windsor Industrial Estate, 424 Ware Rd, Hertford, SG13 7EW. Contact: 01992 534837
Kwik Fit, Elstree Way, Borehamwood, Herts WD6 1LB. Contact: 0208 207 1820JTT
Autotech, High Street,Potters Bar. Contact: 01707 658899/647755
C & C Motors, Unit 4 Cranbourne Industrial Estate, Potters Bar, EN6 3JN. Contact: 01707 644656
Letchworth Car Care Unit 10 Lacre Way Letchworth, SG6 1NR. Contact: 0146 2484846 or email@example.com
Kwik Fit, 59-60 Walsworth Rd, Hitchin, SG4 9SX. Contact: 01462 420365
Kwik Fit, 91 Bedford Rd, Hitchin, SG5 2TT. Contact: 01462 421666
St Albans Recovery, 610 Hatfield Road, Smallford, AL4 0HP. Contact: 01727 834840/0777 6230360
Old London Road Garage, 103-105 Old London Road, St. Albans AL1 1QD. Contact: 01727867214
Kwik Fit, 212 Hatfield Rd, St Albans, AL1 4LW. Contact: 01727 832381
Kwik Fit, Verulam Rd, St Albans, AL3 4DW. Contact: 01727 856051
Kwik Fit, 2 Argyle Way, Gunnels Wood Rd, Stevenage, SG1 2AD. Contact: 01438 759242
Japex Automotive, Happy Valley Industrial Estate, Kings Langley. Contact: 01923 260707
Langley Autocraft, Happy Valley Industrial Estate, Kings Langley. Contact: 0192 3269456
New Road Service Station,50 New Road, Croxley Green, Herts, WD3 3EP. Contact: 01923775144
Crown Honda, 46-52 High Road, Bushey, WD23 1GQ: Contact: 020 8950 3311
Steven Eagell Toyota Watford, 9 Ascot Road, Watford, WD18 8AD. Contact: 01923 693333
Kwikfit Bridge Road East, WGC, ALl7 1JE. Contact: 01707395995
Barrowfield Autos, 2 Woodfield Road, WGC, AL7 1JQ. Contact: 01707393017 or 07967 382811 ** residents WGC only**
Halfords Unit B, Bridge Park 27, Bridge Road East, WGC, AL7 1JE. Contact: 01707396097