Metal thefts spark warning to drivers
2:30pm Thu Oct 04, 2012
Four catalytic converters were stolen on Monday night triggering a fresh warning from police for vehicle owners to be extra vigilant.
Two catalytic converters were stolen from 4x4s in Newark and two in Edwinstowe. There was also a suspicious incident in Bilsthorpe.
Detective Sergeant Rob Lloyd, of Nottinghamshire Police’s metal theft reduction team, said catalytic converter theft was driven by high prices paid for the precious metals they contained.
In May the problem peaked reaching 119 offences across the county.
DS Lloyd said this represented well in excess of £100,000-worth of loss to the public with insurers accepting only limited liability.
He said police efforts to reduce thefts included tackling potential outlets for the items, warning the public, and implementing marking schemes. There had also been coordinated investigations that led to significant arrests.
“Together these efforts saw the offences fall significantly,” DS Lloyd said.
“We have continued to monitor the situation and work with surrounding forces where the problem has followed on.
“The offences have moved around the East Midlands, striking in Leicestershire and Northants on similar scales to that seen in Nottinghamshire.
“With these recent offences our concern is that offenders have returned to Nottinghamshire and as such we are repeating our advice to the public.
“We are investigating these latest offences and putting in a number of measures to tackle any upturn in similar offending, including the deployment of a fully-equipped capture vehicle designed to catch offenders in the act.”
DS Lloyd wants people to call police the instant they see something suspicious.
He said simple measures should by followed for those with 4x4 type vehicles or commercial vehicles with good ground clearance.
These are parking under street lighting, avoiding parking on the pavement where offenders gain better access, directing any CCTV, either private or within commercial premises, to monitor vehicles or parking where there is camera coverage.
Vehicles should be kept in garages where possible.
Catalytic converter marking products are also available.
Nottinghamshire Police ran several free of charge marking events.
Participating garages continued this scheme at nominal cost. Details are available from Nottinghamshire’s Metal Theft Reduction Team or from local neighbourhood police teams.
To contact Nottinghamshire Police call 101.
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