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Thieves target cars for catalytic converters

Thieves and organised gangs are continuing to target catalytic converters from vehicles across West Mercia. This is also an international concern with forces across the world reporting a recent increase in reported catalytic converter theft. The rise in the value of the precious metals they contain is thought to be the reason behind the spike in this offence.

Inspector Andy Tanner said: “Thieves tend to target vehicles such as vans and 4x4s that have a higher ground clearance making the converters more easily accessible. However, all types of vehicles are vulnerable.

“The illegal market for the metals that the converters contain is strong and each converter can make a thief hundreds of pounds, but take only a few minutes to remove from a vehicle and can cost thousands to replace.”

“We are actively investigating several cases and would ask people to please take a few steps to reduce the chances of their vehicle being targeted. One of those steps is to please report any suspicious activity around parked vehicles that you may see or have recorded on mobile devices, CCTV or in-vehicle cameras.”

Tips on how to protect your vehicle:

  • Keep your vehicle in a garage if you can
  • If you park it on a driveway, install motion activated lighting
  • Otherwise, park in a well-lit, populated area
  • Forensic security marking kits are available to mark your catalytic converter
  • Locks are also available that can be fitted to your converter
  • Use high visibility signage to deter thieves

For crimes in progress call 999. For non-emergencies report online at 

Speak to your Safer Neighbourhood Team and for more information, visit