A West Bridgford’s woman is warning people to be vigilant after her car’s catalytic converter was stolen for the second time in the dead of night.
A man targeted a Toyota Prius in a driveway and took the metal within a minute.
Marian Beaumont’s vehicle was targeted again in Holme Road and she has been left furious.
She said: “It happened so quickly, we heard a grinding sound just after midnight, looked out and spotted a man by our car. It must have taken him less than a minute for them to saw it off.
“We are so upset. It’s not just the cost and inconvenience, but to have someone steal our property in the middle of the night is frightening.
“This is the second time this has happened to us, previously we were sorted thanks to insurance before Christmas. When I heard the sound again, I knew what was going on. My husband and I ran out , but the man jumped into a waiting car which sped off along Holme Road towards Adbolton Grove. The screeching sound was terrible. Once they had gone we looked under the car and could see the shards of metal where the converter had been cut from.
“It was too dark to see them properly and get a description. The man was tall, wearing a blue disposable mask and a dark beanie hat. I’m hoping someone saw something suspicious and will get in touch with the police.
“I’m also hoping the media appeal with make more people aware of the thefts to hybrid vehicles. I’m now urging people to vigilant and if you can, try to fit a cat lock onto the bottom of your car which will act like a deterrent to thieves. We will certainly be doing so.”
The valuable metals inside the converters, including platinum, can be sold for scrap value. Prices have rocketed for rhodium, platinum and palladium, with palladium selling more per gram than gold last year.The belief is organised gangs are behind the thefts across the country, prompting intelligence-led operations to stop the converters from being stolen.
Neighbourhood Inspector Craig Berry said: “The victim is quite rightly upset and frustrated this has happened to her.
“Officers were called just after midnight last night following a report of a catalytic converter being stolen from a car in Holme Road, West Bridgford.
“It was reported an unknown offender stole her car’s converter and then drove off from the scene.
“Officers were quickly on the scene and carried out an area search, but sadly we couldn’t find the offender.
“We are now appealing to anyone who might have seen something suspicious in the area last night to contact us.
“If you think you can help with our enquiries, please call 101, quoting incident number 9 of 9 September 2002.”
There are a number of steps that motorists can take to reduce their chances of becoming a victim, including:
If possible, park your car in a garage
If your car is at high risk, consider marking the metal shell of the converter with a unique mark, so that if it is stolen it will be easier to trace back to your vehicle
If your catalytic converter is bolted on, the bolts can be welded shut – this would not stop a determined thief but would slow them down
Giving some consideration to the way your vehicle is parked could reduce the chances of your catalytic converter being stolen – high and low clearance vehicles being parked close together make it more difficult for a thief to gain access to converters
Good quality lighting will improve natural surveillance and make a thief less likely to be able to remove a catalytic converter without being seen
Leaving your car in an area covered by CCTV may also deter thieves – CCTV systems should be well signed.