We are pleased to say that we’ve seen a 95% decrease in catalytic converter theft this month.
This isn’t by chance. It’s thanks to members of the public who have shown confidence in their local police teams by reporting suspicious activity, as it happens.
It is the community’s quick thinking and the swift reaction of local officers that we have seen such a huge reduction.
Arrest and charge
On 23 March officers responded to a catalytic converter theft in Kingsley Walk, Ely and arrested three men who have since been charged in connection with catalytic converter theft.
During the first quarter of the year (January-March), catalytic converters were being stolen at a rate of almost four every day (3.8).
Since the start of April (1-26th) there have been six thefts recorded, a decrease of between 91 and 95 per cent compared to January (133), February (140) and March (73).
The decrease follows significant work carried out by the local policing teams who oversee proactive
disruption of organised crime gangs as well as support from the police helicopter and the road policing unit to help intercept suspects. Officers have carried out targeted days of action and weeks of patrols, visited scrap dealers and have launched dates for further free catalytic converter marking. Search warrants have been carried linked to Serious and Organised crime groups who police are now investigating as part of a regional crime series.
Whilst we have disrupted organised crime groups in our area by arresting and remanding individuals, we know other criminals won’t be able to resist the temptation to steal such valuable metal again. So our message is please remain vigilant.
It takes just minutes for thieves to remove a catalytic converter and on many occasions victims are unaware their vehicle has been targeted even though it was on their driveway. Thieves are also known to be violent and may carry weapons.
Toyotas and Hondas have been predominantly targeted but other vehicles including Lexus, Mercedes, Mazda and Volkswagen have also been singled out.
Vehicle owners are urged to look out for vehicle jacked up (especially in the middle of the vehicle) and listen out for the sound of metal being cut. There may be a vehicle nearby with the engine running and two or three people involved.
Call 999 and share the vehicle number plate, make and model. Where possible, also provide the make, model and VRM number of your own vehicle.
Chief Inspector Paul Rogerson