Operation launched to crack down on rise in stolen tools and catalytic converters
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Officers are urging the public to be vigilant following increasing reports of tools and catalytic converters being stolen from vehicles in the county.
Between May and November 2019, there were 83 reports of stolen catalytic converters and 286 reports of tools being taken from vehicles since October.
The force has launched Operation Icy, aiming to catch those believed to be involved, but are asking the public to take precaution to prevent further offences.
Detective Chief Inspector Robert Taylor, from force CID, said: “Operation Icy has been launched in response to the increase of stolen tools and catalytic converters from vehicles.
“Catalytic converters are a target due to higher prices for scrap metal and we believe 4x4s, Honda vehicles, Toyota Prius and Auris and Lexus 400Hs are particularly of interest to criminals due to the metals they contain.
“Hybird models are also a target as they contain more valuable metals.
“The thefts, which are in-line with a national rise, are being investigated by a team of officers but we would ask the public to be aware and put basic steps in place to prevent further offences.
“I would urge drivers to remember to lock their vehicles and make sure they remove any valuable items out of view. Tools that have to be left in vans should be marked up using property marking systems or by using paint pens and sealed with a clear lacquer spray.
“Catalytic converters are harder to mark due to their extreme heat but there are a number of products available that will mark them should they be stolen. To deter thieves further, add signage and stickers to show the converter is marked so criminals know they run the risk of being tracked down.
“Officers will be patrolling hot spot areas and stopping anyone they deem to be suspicious as they crack down on offenders. Anyone that sees any suspicious behaviour or anyone with information about stolen tools or catalytic converters can contact Staffordshire Police on 101 or by direct messaging on Facebook and Twitter.
“Alternatively, contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.”
For more crime prevention advice, visit: https://www.staffordshire.police.uk/cp/crime-prevention/theft-from-a-vehicle/vehicle-safe-and-sound/.