We’re appealing for information after receiving a number of reports of catalytic converter thefts across the county.
A catalytic converter is a device on vehicle exhausts that reduces the toxic gases and pollutants. Precious metals must be used because the converters have to work efficiently enough to meet emissions standards. They are being stolen because of the value of these precious metals and thefts.
In recent weeks, we have been made aware of thefts in Whaley Bridge, Borrowash, Derby, Buxton, Chesterfield and Sandiacre.
These have taken place between 26 February and 3 March.
Whilst officers are not formally linking the thefts at this stage, they are interested to hear from anyone who may have seen a silver car in the Windsor Park Road area of Fairfield, the Kingsway area of Derby, and Hasland Road area of Chesterfield on 2 March.
We received three reports of thefts in these areas between 10am and 8pm and the offenders (reported as being two or three men) were all seen to leave in a silver vehicle.
Detective Inspector Harry Rai, said: "These types of offences are a national issue and I would like to reassure the residents of Derbyshire that these offences are being investigated robustly and we are working with neighbouring forces and our partners to bring those responsible to justice.
“I urge vehicle owners to be cautious and to protect their vehicles. Please review your home security and where you park your vehicle, let’s make it as difficult as possible for these individuals to commit this type of crime.
“The residents of Derbyshire can also assist in preventing this type of crime by reporting anyone acting suspiciously around a vehicle to us.
“Obviously there is an end participant in the theft of catalytic converters and we will be liaising with dealers to check the legality of their operation.
“Dealers in the metal trade can assist in letting the police know if they are offered a catalytic converter.”
Officers investigating these incidents have also shared the following advice, which could help motorists to reduce their chance of becoming a victim:
If possible, park in a garage or in a position where it would be difficult to access the underside of the vehicle near the exhaust
Consider marking the catalytic converter with a serial number to identify it, and register it on sites such as Immobilise
Consider installing protective coverings over the converter, but seek advice from a professional as different makes offer different types which are safe. This may not prevent it from being stolen, but would make it more difficult and slow down the process
Install alarms and CCTV
Good quality lighting near to your vehicle will improve natural surveillance and can act as a deterrent
If you see anyone acting suspicious/appearing to be working on a car in a public car park, please report it to us
The cars that are most often targeted are hybrid vehicles, as the catalytic converter is used less frequently. The metals they use are less likely to corrode, meaning they are worth more.
If you have any information that could help officers with their enquiries please contact us quoting reference number 463-040321.
To report suspicious activity, you should also use the same methods.
Facebook– send us a private message to /DerbyshireConstabulary
Twitter– direct message our contact centre on @DerPolContact