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Toyata Prius and Honda Jazz cars targeted in spate of thefts in Surrey

Toyata Prius and Honda Jazz cars targeted in spate of thefts in Surrey

Published by the Eagle Radio News Team at 6:03am 25th August 2019.

Police have issued advice after 24 cars had their catalytic converters stolen in Surrey this month. 

Mainly Toyota Prius and Honda Jazz vehicles were targeted. 

Since the beginning of the month, eight reports have been received from Reigate and Banstead, eight from Epsom and Ewell, seen reports from the Tandridge area and one report has been received in Mole Valley. 

A catalytic converter is part of the car's emissions control system; it cleans up the exhaust gases before they are expelled through the exhaust pipe. 

Police are investigating if any of them are linked and officers are trying to identify the perpetrators. 

The force issued the following advice to prevent catalytic converter theft: 

  • Park in as well-lit areas where possible.
  • Park close to building entrances or the nearest road in public car parks. This leaves your vehicle in a location where many people can see it.
  • If you have a garage use it and keep it locked.
  • Consider CCTV if your vehicle is parked on your driveway or a RING-type device.
  • Adjust the security system on your car or have one installed that will activate upon vibration, such as those produced by a saw.
  • Install a catalytic converter-specific security device, such as ‘ARMACAT’ or ‘CATLOC’ - find out how here
  • Consider ID Etching - Etching a catalytic converter with a serial number will help police track a stolen converter and overtly advertising that a vehicle is protected by property marking may also deter offenders as it will potentially reduce the opportunities for selling on the converters at reputable scrap metal dealers. More information on ID etching can be found here
  • Consider welded bolts - If a catalytic converter is a ‘bolt on’ it is possible to have the bolts welded shut. This is only a deterrent to the lowest grade of catalytic converter thief working with a wrench but may still be enough of a deterrent to help prevent a theft.
  • Report suspicious activity to the Police. Obtain as much information as possible, including any vehicle registrations.

Police are appealing for information into the thefts. 

If you know anything, call 101 or, if a crime is in progress, call 999. 

Crimestoppers can also be contacted anonymously on 0800 555 111.