Motorists and businesses have been warned about a rising number of thefts of catalytic converters from vehicles in Hemel Hempstead.
Catalytic converters, which are fitted to the vehicles’ exhaust system, are targeted by thieves because of the precious metals they contain.
Toyota Prius vehicles appear to be a particular target, with more than half of recorded catalytic converter thefts in the county involving this model.
On Monday, September 9, at around 4.30pm, a catalytic convertor was stolen from a vehicle in Hollybush Lane (41/81851/19).
Later the same day, between 4.50-5.05pm, one was stolen from a vehicle in Pudding Lane (41/81864/19).
On Tuesday, September 10, between 4-4.20pm, a catalytic convertor was stolen from a vehicle in Fennycroft Road (41/82043/19).
And two days later, between 4.30-5.50pm on Thursday, September 12, a catalytic convertor was stolen from a motor vehicle that was parked in a public car park on Park Road (41/83338/19).
On Sunday, September 15, at around 2.15pm, one was stolen from a motor vehicle in Great Sturgess Road (41/83782/19).
On Tuesday, September 17, a man returned from a week long holiday to find that the catalytic convertor had been stolen from his Toyota Prius (41/84588/19).
PCSO Daniel McManus, from the Hemel Hempstead Safer Neighbourhood Team, said: “We are asking the public to be aware and remain vigilant, as we have had multiple reports of stolen catalytic converters across Hemel Hempstead this month.
“Please remain cautious as thefts are happening both day and night – it is worth taking extra measures to ensure you won’t fall victim to this crime.”
Tips for protecting your vehicle:
If you are unable to lock your car in a garage when parked at night, where possible park your vehicle by reversing against a wall or fence and park as close to the kerb as possible. This will make it difficult for thieves to access the catalytic converter.;
If you leave your car in a car park overnight, be sure to look for one with a Secured Car Park sign, as this means it will have recognised levels of security;
If you leave your car on your street, or in your drive, consider installing CCTV cameras as they will deter thieves;
You can also get your catalytic converter forensically marked, get protective coverings fitted on it, or have the bolts securing it in place welded to make removal more difficult.
If you have any information regarding the theft of catalytic converters in Hertfordshire, you can report it online at herts.police.uk/report, speak to an operator via the online web chat at herts.police.uk/contact or call the non-emergency number 101.
If a crime is in progress or someone’s life is in danger, call 999 immediately.
Alternatively, you can call the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or via their untraceable online form at crimestoppersuk.org