Cambridgeshire Neighbourhood Watch Association
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Catalytic Converter Theft in Cambridgeshire

We’ve recently seen an increase in people reporting the thefts as they are happening which on some occasions has resulted in arrests and seizures of stolen catalytic converters.

We believe there are several groups of people coming from out of the county to carry out these thefts. It takes just minutes for these people to remove a catalytic converter and on many occasions victims are unaware their vehicle has been targeted even though it was sat on their driveway.

Catalytic converter theft in Cambridgeshire is at an all-time high. The number of catalytic converters stolen from cars across the county has risen by 141 per cent in the past four years. Last year (2022) thieves stole 758 catalytic converters, an average of two a day, compared to 314 in 2019. With 133 further thefts recorded so far this year (up until 31st Jan) – more than four a day – we are urging residents to call in any suspicious behaviour around vehicles so it can be acted upon as soon as possible.

Catalytic converters are found in the exhaust system of every car and reduce the output of toxic gases and pollutants. Stealing them has become popular because they are not easily identifiable when sold on for the metals found inside them. Toyotas and Hondas have been predominantly targeted but other vehicles including Lexus, Mercedes, Mazda and Volkswagen have also been singled out.

We’re urging you to:

  • Look out for vehicles jacked up (especially in the middle of the vehicle)
  • 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
  • Don’t approach these people, they have been known to be violent in the past and may even be carrying weapons
  • Instead, call us on 999 and share the vehicle number plate and any other details that could help us.

You can read more about catalytic converter theft on the police website.

Detective Inspector Dan Cooper
Neighbourhood Support Team

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