POLICE in Rotherham are battling against a rise in thefts of catalytic convertors.
Thieves are targeting catalysts - located in the exhaust system under the vehicle - because of the high value of the precious metals they contain.
The recent high prices for precious metals have resulted in a noticeable increase in thefts of catalytic converters.
So far in the Rotherham area this year there have been 17 reported instances where vehicles have been targeted for the catalytic convertor, compare to 17 throughout 2011 and 10 in 2010.
A catalytic converter contain precious metals such as gold and platinum and help to reduce the emissions coming out of a vehicle and makes them safer to the atmosphere.
Thieves simply cut the catalytic converter from the exhaust pipe of a parked car and sell them on to scrap metal dealers. Larger vehicles are particularly vulnerable as the converters are more accessible and because they tend to have larger engines, they contain more of the precious metals too.
Acting detective sergeant Jamie Henderson, who leads the Rotherham Metal Theft Team, said: “If someone drives without a catalytic convertor they’ll hear an excessively loud revving like a racing car. It can also be very dangerous as fumes may start to come into the vehicle.”
“A trained technician takes several hours to properly remove a CAT, however we are aware of some thieves that literally take seconds to rip them from vehicles leaving them in particularly dangerous conditions and costing upwards of £1,000 to repair.”
If anyone has any information about the theft of catalytic convertors contact South Yorkshire Police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.