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Norfolk drivers fall victim to catalytic converter thefts after gangs switch tactics

There have been more than 250 thefts of catalytic convertors in Norfolk over the last three years <i>(Image: Newsquest)</i>
There have been more than 250 thefts of catalytic convertors in Norfolk over the last three years (Image: Newsquest)

Motorists have been urged to be extra vigilant after a spate of thefts of catalytic convertors in Norfolk.

The pollution-scrubbing devices containing precious metals have seen them become a target for organised gangs.

Eastern Daily Press: Still from from a YouTube video showing the apparent theft of a catalytic converter from a Honda
Eastern Daily Press: Still from from a YouTube video showing the apparent theft of a catalytic converter from a Honda

Still from from a YouTube video showing the apparent theft of a catalytic converter from a Honda (Image: YouTube)

Thirteen thefts were reported over a single weekend earlier this month from driveways in Northrepps, Cromer, Worstead, Mundesley, Hoveton, Tunstead, and Overstrand.

Vehicles targeted included Toyota, Lexus, Honda, and BMW models.

It comes as crime figures revealed there were more than 250 catalytic convertor thefts reported in Norfolk in the last three years.

Numbers fell during the pandemic but surged again across the county in late 2022.

Eastern Daily Press: Catalytic convertors are targeted by organised gangs because they contain precious metals
Eastern Daily Press: Catalytic convertors are targeted by organised gangs because they contain precious metals

Catalytic convertors are targeted by organised gangs because they contain precious metals (Image: Environment Agency)

Police said that while thieves once struck in large public car parks more recently they had targeted residential streets and even outside people’s homes.

A spokesman said: “Thieves sometimes pose as people who are working on a vehicle. A team of three is often used – one lookout, one driver and one cutting person.”

People are being urged to report suspicious activity around vehicles and take precautions including fitting a catloc device that makes it far harder for thieves to detach the unit.