Rise in catalytic converter thefts across Yorkshire as precious metal lures thieves

Three out of Yorkshire's four police forces have reported a rise in the number of catalytic converter thefts with "higher prices for precious metals" the lure, The Yorkshire Post can reveal.

Three out of Yorkshire's four police forces have reported a rise in the number of catalytic converters

North Yorkshire Police, West Yorkshire Police and Humberside Police have all issued warnings to residents following reported rises.

Police patrols have been stepped up in the Osbaldwick area of York, with people being asked to be particularly vigilant and check their vehicle's security.

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A North Yorkshire Police spokesman said: "Thieves target catalytic converters for the scrap value of the precious metals found inside. Hybrid vehicles, whose catalytic converters tend to contain more precious metals, and 4x4s, whose higher chassis make them more vulnerable, are particularly at risk.

"Higher prices for precious metals and the popularity of hybrid vehicles could be behind the latest thefts. Owners of Toyota and Honda hybrid cars are in particular being urged to take extra steps to protect their vehicles."

Meanwhile, there has been 20 recorded thefts of catalytic converters since Saturday, January 30.

Crime Prevention Lead for West Yorkshire Police Dawn Wilkinson said: "This is a small but significant increase and I would urge vehicle owners to be mindful of their own security and that of their car.

“If you see anything suspicious always call police to report it so we can take action against those responsible. Suspicious activity could include someone lingering around a vehicle or jacking it up.”

Cars that are most often targeted are hybrid vehicles, as these vehicles have two power sources, so the catalytic converter is used less frequently.

The metals are less likely to corrode, meaning they are worth more and therefore more attractive to thieves.

Hybrid cars, Vans and SUV’s are particularly at risk, as the ride height makes access to the exhaust system beneath them easier.

The Toyota Prius, Toyota Auris and Honda Jazz are often targeted in West Yorkshire.

Humberside Police has also reported incidents of catalytic converters being stolen in Goole, Scunthorpe, Brigg and Grimsby, in the last month.

Inspector Dave Stephenson said: “As the price of metals such as platinum and palladium have risen, many areas of the UK have seen increased reports of catalytic converters being stolen.

“While all cars are potentially at risk, thieves are most likely to target hybrids – where the catalytic converter is used less and the metals are less likely to be damaged – or vehicles with a higher ground clearance, such as vans and SUVs.

“We’re investigating all the reports we have received and are following up a number of lines of enquiry."