POLICE are warning residents after an increase in catalytic converter thefts in Mendip and South Somerset. 

Mendip Neighbourhood Policing and South Somerset Neighbourhood Policing are reminding people the thefts take place in daylight as well as overnight.

"Catalytic Converters are positioned underneath a vehicle and can take less than a minute to cut and remove, usually taken as they contain precious metals like platinum, palladium or rhodium which are valuable to metal dealers," said a spokesperson for Mendip Neighbourhood Policing.

"Anyone acting suspiciously under a vehicle please report it immediately to the Police on 999."

They have also offered advice to prevent your catalytic converter being stolen:

  • Park your car in a locked garage where possible, but if this isn't an option then park it in a well-lit and well-populated area.
  • In order to steal the parts, thieves need to slide under the vehicle and use cutting tools to detach the box from the pipes around it. This means parking your car close to fences, walls or kerbs will make theft much more difficult.
  • Avoid parking your vehicle half on the pavement and half on the road, this may make it easier for thieves to access the catalytic converter.
  • If parking in a public car park, consider parking alongside other cars facing your bonnet towards the wall if possible. With the catalytic converter positioned at the front of your vehicle, this will make it harder for thieves to get close enough to steal it.
  • If your catalytic converter is bolted on you can ask your local garage to weld the bolts to make it more difficult to remove. You can also purchase a 'cage clamp' which is a caged device that locks around the converter to make it more difficult to remove.
  • You can also etch a serial number onto the converter to assist Police should yours be stolen. Some garages will do this for you, you will also be provided with a sticker to be displayed in your window that indicates your catalytic converter is marked which prevents offenders from targeting your vehicle.