County-wide warning over catalytic convertor and lorry battery thefts

Catalytic converter and lorry battery thefts are rife in the county
Catalytic converter and lorry battery thefts are rife in the county

Police are appealing to local residents and businesses to be on their guard against catalytic converter and lorry battery thefts.

The theft of catalytic converters has continued to be an issue in the county, due to the high price of metal in recent years.

And the thefts are occurring at all times of the day and night, with industrial estates being particularly targeted. Vans and four wheel drive vehicles are being targeted predominantly, however all types of vehicles are being targeted.

Officers from the Crime Reduction Unit have been working with local scrap dealers to educate and improve processes and tackle anyone looking to sell on stolen metal.

On Monday the police visited six scrap metal dealers in the county to check for stolen items and ensure they were operating within the new Scrap Dealers Act. No stolen metal was found.

In Welwyn, Hatfield, batteries were stolen from 14 lorries in various locations overnight between Thursday November 27 and Friday, November 28.

Specialist Crime Prevention Officers have been visiting the businesses affected to provide advice and guidance about how to prevent further thefts.

Crime Prevention Officer, Ian Dowse, said: “The theft of catalytic converters has been a recurring problem over the last few of years, particularly from diesel vans as they are easier to access on high clearance vehicles. Thieves target the units for the precious metals they contain.

“Becoming a victim of this crime is very inconvenient and can lead to costly repairs so we are urging people to be vigilant. Residents and local businesses are urged to report any suspicious behaviour as a crime in progress to police via 999.

“With catalytic converter theft in particular, look out for people hanging around vehicles at unusual times and make sure you make use of your drive or a garage if you have one.”

Get more information and crime prevention advice.