Thursday 9 December 2021
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Nottingham

Police find nine stolen catalytic converters in one van

Catalytic converters and cannabis were recovered from a suspicious van in a proactive police stop.

Officers from Nottinghamshire Police were on patrol in Newark Road, Caunton at around 7.20pm on Monday 3 May 2021, when they spotted a suspicious white transit van.

The van was stopped and, after smelling cannabis, officers conducted a full search of the vehicle.

Nine catalytic converters were found in the rear of the van as well as a small bag of what is thought to be cannabis.

A 24-year-old man was then arrested on suspicion of theft and class B drugs in connection with the find and detectives have now launched an investigation to establish the circumstances.

It comes after the force published its results as part of Op Goldiron, a national week of action targeting catalytic converter thieves.

In Nottingham, vulnerable car parts have been protected using Selectamark, an invisible ink that is unique to each vehicle, meaning that if stolen parts are found they can be traced back to the original owner.

Moving forward, hundreds of cars in Nottingham will be protected using the system free of charge as the force looks to help the most vulnerable cars.

Detective Sergeant Jamie Moore, of Nottinghamshire Police, said: “It is well documented how fast catalytic converters can be stolen. Nottinghamshire Police has previously shared a video that shows suspects steal one in fewer than 60 seconds.

“Therefore, it is incredibly positive whenever we find stolen catalytic converters and work is now underway to establish where the nine recovered yesterday came from.

“Officers did a fantastic job to stop the suspicious van and recover drugs as well as the car parts and we are now working to establish the circumstances of these items.

“While it is also very positive that an arrest has been made as part of our enquiries, it is still early days in our investigation.”

DS Moore has also reminded the public to remain vigilant against catalytic converter thefts.

He said: “As a force we are absolutely determined to crack down on this issue and track down catalytic converter thieves.

“I urge people to be vigilant and if they spot any suspicious vehicles or people in their area to report it to police immediately on 101 or 999 if you spot a crime in progress.

“These thieves will target cars at any time during the day or night so if you see someone acting suspiciously under a vehicle, please report it. Obtain as much information as possible, including any vehicle registrations.

DS Moore added: “There are a number of things vehicle owners can do to offer themselves further protection.

“The first thing to do is to find out where your catalytic converter is located on your car. If it’s at the front then park with the bonnet towards a wall if possible. If it’s at the back, park with your exhaust to the wall.

“Avoid parking half on the pavement and half on the road as this may make it easier for thieves to get under your car.

“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 even purchase a ‘cage clamp’, a device which makes converters more difficult to remove.

“Another option for drivers is to ask their garage or dealership to fit a tilt sensor, which activates an alarm if anyone tries to jack the vehicle up to steal the converter.”

•  Officers urge public across Nottinghamshire to be vigilant after huge rise in catalytic converter thefts