Cambridgeshire Neighbourhood Watch Association

Crimestoppers – Catalytic Converter Theft

A campaign by Crimestoppers is focussing on “lost CATS” across the eastern region. Thieves are attracted by the contents of precious metal inside the catalytic converter fitted to your car.

Catalytic converters were introduced as a vehicle emissions control device which converts toxic byproducts of combustion in the exhaust of from your engine to less toxic substances by way of catalysed chemical reactions. The specific reactions vary with the type of catalyst installed. Most present-day vehicles that run on petrol and diesel are fitted with a “three way” converter, so named because it converts the three main pollutants in automobile exhaust. The three main pollutants are carbon monoxide,  unburned hydrocarbons and oxides of nitrogen.   They are an essential and statutory requirement for your exhaust system and the catalyst precious metals used in their manufacture make them expensive to produce.    The theft of calalytic converters has increased due to the high market value fetched by selling of the precious metal constituent parts. In consequence they are attracting much attention by thieves who just crudely cut away the calalytic converter from the car exhaust system and sell them for high value scrap metal .   

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