Police remind Hemel drivers to protect their vehicles as thieves continue to target catalytic converters

Thefts of vehicles have increased in a number of areas

Monday, 4th October 2021, 3:08 pm
Updated Monday, 4th October 2021, 3:10 pm

Police are advising drivers and businesses to protect their vehicles this autumn as thieves continue to target vehicles across Hertfordshire.

Owners are being advised to follow crime prevention advice to make their cars and vans more secure as thieves continue to target catalytic converters and any valuables left inside vehicles.

Thefts of vehicles have increased in a number of areas, with thefts of certain keyless entry models also a concern.

Police remind Hemel drivers to protect their vehicles this autumn

Inspector Nicola Dean, from Hertfordshire Constabulary’s Crime Reduction Unit, said: “There has been increases in vehicle related thefts in some parts of the county in recent months.

"Thieves are targeting the catalytic converters on specific car models such as the pre 2008 Honda Jazz, Toyota Prius (2004 to 2016 inclusive) and Toyota Arius (2012 to 2018 inclusive).

"They will also target any vehicles that have valuable items left on display, so please remove any items which may encourage a thief, such as bags, boxes, coats or loose change.

“We are still offering our free catalytic converter security marking service, which is available at garages across the county.

"We are also writing to owners of specific vehicle models that are being targeted in keyless thefts, to offer help to make their vehicles more secure.

"I would also urge the public to follow our advice, remain vigilant and report suspicious incidents in their neighbourhood, particularly where people are trying to get under cars in public car parks or on public roads. If you see this happening, please call 999 immediately.”

To arrange free catalytic converter marking visit: www.herts.police.uk/opfeline.

In order to minimise the chance of becoming a victim police are offering the following advice:

> Lock your car whenever it is left unattended and keep it in a garage when parked at night if possible.

> When using a garage is not possible, park close to fences, walls or a kerb with the exhaust being closest to the fence, wall or kerb to make theft difficult.

> Consider fitting CCTV on your home or driveway, to help deter thieves.

> Use PIR or LED security lighting to make your vehicle more visible and this can also act as a deterrent.

> If your catalytic converter is bolted on, consider having the bolts welded to make removal difficult.

> Fit protective coverings on catalytic converters, such as the Toyota manufactured CATLOC device, (these are made for Toyota Prius made between 2004 and 2009) as these can make it much more difficult for thieves.

> Have your catalytic converter etched or forensically marked, and put stickers in the windscreen to say this has been done.

> Look for car parks with a Secured Car Park sign which have recognised levels of security. If you have a garage at home, ensure you use it and lock it properly.

> Noisy gravel on your drive can help deter a would-be thief, as they don't want to alert you to their approach.

> Never leave valuable items or tools on display in your vehicle as this may encourage a thief to break in.

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