Warning to drivers after Oxfordshire wide thefts

Catalytic converter thefts CCTV
Catalytic converter thefts CCTV

Thames Valley Police is releasing four images of men officers would like to speak to following a high number of thefts of catalytic converters across the county.

Over the last six months, over 100 thefts have been committed across Oxfordshire. Officers believe these offences are linked and are carrying out a thorough investigation into them.

Offenders are most commonly targeting Toyata Prius, Toyata Yaris and Honda Jazz vehicles parked in residential streets and public car parks during the day across the city, including Park and Ride and hospital car parks.

Offenders use a car jack to lift the car and take out the catalytic converter, this takes a couple of minutes. There have been occasions where offenders have worn hi-vis jackets to appear in an authorised role.

Investigating officer Detective Sergeant Richard Allmond based at St Aldates police station, said: “We believe the men pictured in these images may have vital information about these incidents and could help with our investigation.

“We are appealing for any witnesses to come forward or anyone who knows anything about these incidents.”

Catalytic converter thefts CCTV

Catalytic converter thefts CCTV

“If you think you know the men in these images, or think it could be you, please get in touch with on the non-emergency number on 101 or report online quoting reference number 43190093221.

“Alternatively, you can call 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.”

Whilst the police are investigating these incidents, there are some simple steps you can take to help reduce the chances of your vehicle being targeted:

Advice for vehicle owners:

Catalytic converter thefts CCTV

Catalytic converter thefts CCTV

• If your catalytic converter is ‘bolt on,’ you can have the bolts welded shut

• Identify/etch your converter with a unique serial number and advertise that the vehicle has been protected (window stickers)

• Where possible, park in your garage. Alternatively, park in a location that restricts access underneath your vehicle

• Consider the installation of CCTV to protect your vehicle

Catalytic converter thefts CCTV

Catalytic converter thefts CCTV

• Contact your local garage or vehicle manufacturer about the steps you can take to secure your converter

Advice for businesses:

• Fencing around vehicles may act as a deterrent to opportunist catalytic converter thieves

• If you have a fleet of vehicles, block those with high clearance using vehicles with low clearance. Obstruct access underneath the vehicles

• Consider the installation of security lighting.

• Consider installing appropriate CCTV to protect your vehicle fleet

To identify your catalytic converters with forensic etching visit: smartwater.com