Crowthorne Parish Council

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Catalytic converter thefts

The precious metal in catalytic converters has led to a nationwide increase in their theft. Many targeted vehicles are Japanese models and vary in age from 2002 to present day. These cars are invariably more valuable to the owner for their use and reliability than their monetary value. Insurance companies often write a car off when the catalytic converter is stolen because it is often more valuable than the car it is on.

To reduce the risk of your catalytic converter being targeted by thieves, please consider the following crime prevention steps:

Be aware that offenders often wear high visibility vests to make you think they are legitimate. If you see someone acting suspiciously near or under a vehicle, report it to the Police straight away. Obtain as much information as possible, including any vehicle registrations.

Please contact us if you have any information relating to crime in your neighbourhood. Report online at call us on 101 or in an emergency dial 999.
Alternatively, you can call Crimestoppers anonymously on free phone 0800 555 111.

Neighbours looking out for each other, and been prepared to report suspicious activity also helps deter offenders and reduce crime. If you want to find out if there is already a Neighbourhood Watch Scheme in your area, or you’d like to find out more, check out their site


Please feel free to share this message and advice with neighbours, family and friends.

  • Check your vehicles regularly, especially during lockdowns. We have had thefts noticed and reported a week or more after the car was last used.
  • Ask your car dealer or garage if they can give you any advice on locks or guards that are approved by the vehicle manufacturer.
  • Consider having extra measures fitted to make removal more difficult. Speak to your car dealer or garage about other options such as etching a serial number on the converter or making the bolts more difficult to remove.
  • Register your converter and mark it with a forensic marker, which will make it harder for thieves to dispose of. Advertise that the vehicle has been protected (window stickers)
  • Be aware that vehicle alarms are not often triggered when catalytic converters are removed. You can speak to your dealership or garage about adding a tilt sensor that will activate the alarm should any thief try to jack the vehicle up.
  • Park your car in a locked garage where possible, but if this is not an option, then park in a well-lit and well-populated area.
  • Avoid parking your vehicle half on the pavement and half on the road, as this may make it easier for thieves to access the catalytic converter.
  • If there is a fleet of vehicles, park low clearance vehicles to block high clearance vehicles. This will help obstruct access underneath.


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