Police warning as thieves target Toyota and Honda cars in Leeds to steal valuable catalytic converters

Police have issued a new warning to drivers after a spate of catalytic converter thefts in north east Leeds.

Saturday, 3rd April 2021, 11:45 am
Police have issued this warning in Leeds

The catalytic converter is fitted to the exhaust system of a car or van and filters harmful particles.

They are made with rare precious metals such as rhodium, platinum and palladium.

The amount of rhodium used in a car weighs about the same as one quarter of a postage stamp, but still adds £70 to the price of the car, according to hit BBC show QI.

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Police have issued this warning after an increase of catalytic converter thefts in Leeds.

They said hybrid cars, vans and SUV’s are particularly at risk, as the ride height makes access to the exhaust system beneath them easier.

The Toyota Prius, Toyota Auris, Honda Jazz and the Honda CR-V are often targeted in West Yorkshire.

A spokesperson for the force said: "We are seeing an increase in the theft of catalytic converters, mainly from some Toyota and Honda cars.

"There is information below about making your car safer and we have been out delivering crime prevention advice to the owners of affected vehicles."

What you should do to avoid catalytic converter thefts

To reduce the risk of having your catalytic converter stolen, you should:

Park your car in a locked garage where possible, but if this isn’t an option, then park it in a well-lit and well-populated area

Park close to fences, walls or a kerb with the exhaust being closest to the fence, wall or kerb to make the theft more difficult

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 the low clearance vehicles to block the high clearance vehicles. This will obstruct access underneath

If parking in a public car park, consider parking alongside other cars and facing you bonnet towards the wall if possible. With the catalytic converter positioned at the front of your vehicle, this will make it harder for thieves to get close enough to steal it

For thefts occurring on driveways, consider the use of a Secured by Design (SBD) approved driveway alarm and sensor. This may assist in alerting you of a potential intruder entering your driveway or garden

If your catalytic converter is bolted on, you can ask for your local garage to weld the bolts to make it more difficult to remove.

Alternatively, you can mark your catalytic converter. Please ensure any property marking is Secured by Design (SBD) approved

You can even purchase a ‘cage clamp’ which is a cage device that locks in around the converter to make it more difficult to remove. Toyota are offering a 'Catloc' for the Prius (3rd generation, 2009-2011 models) and Auris (2nd generation, 2012-2018 models). Please contact your Toyota dealership for more information

Speak to your dealership about the possibility of installing a Thatcham approved alarm and tilt sensor that will activate the alarm should any thief try to jack the vehicle up to steal the converter

If you see someone acting suspiciously under a vehicle, report it to the police. Obtain as much information as possible, including any vehicle registrations.