Warning to be alert after catalytic converter thefts
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Officers are warning vehicle owners to be vigilant after a series of catalytic converter thefts took place in the Moorlands.
Police were called a total of three times on Wednesday (25 August) to incidents of vehicle crime.
Officers were first called at midnight to an address on Thorley Drive in Cheadle where a catalytic converter had been stolen from a Toyota Auris.
CCTV footage showed offenders travelling in a silver Seat, with two offenders getting out of the car to make the theft, while a further offender remained in the car, before departing in the direction of Cedar Grove.
The resident was able to obtain a number plate, a partial of which is AV11 – which officers believe is cloned.
Another converter was stolen about 20 minutes later, from a Toyota Celica on Wall Lane Terrace, Cheddleton.
CCTV footage from the area shows a small silver car arrive from the direction of the Ashcombe Centre at 12.22am.
Two offenders get out while the vehicle is driven up the street and turned around.
Meanwhile, the two offenders remove the converter, before departing in the direction of the Ashcombe Centre.
A third converter is stolen from a Toyota Auris along the same street, between 8.45pm and 8am on Thursday (26 August), though it is believed this happened shortly after the first incident at around midnight on 25 August.
Officers are currently reviewing CCTV footage of the scene.
It comes as two further similar thefts were also reported on 25 August involving Honda vehicles.
At around 7pm, an offender gained entry to George Rhodes Garage, Tunstall Road, Knypersley, in Biddulph.
CCTV footage shows the offender then removes the converter from a silver Honda Jazz before leaving the scene.
A further converter was then reported stolen from a Honda parked in a layby on Moss Lane, Stockton Brook, between 8.30am and 8.30pm the same day.
To reduce the risk of having your catalytic converter stolen, you should:
- Park your car in a locked garage or a well-lit and well-populated area, covered by CCTV
- If parking in a public car park, park alongside other cars and with your bonnet towards the wall
- Avoid parking your vehicle half on the pavement and half on the road
- If there is a fleet of vehicles, park the low clearance vehicles to block the high clearance vehicles
- For thefts occurring on driveways, consider the use of a driveway alarm and sensor
- If your catalytic converter is bolted on, ask for your local garage to weld the bolts or ask a trained mechanic mark it
- You can purchase a ‘cage clamp’ to make it more difficult to remove
- Install a Thatcham-approved alarm and tilt sensor that will activate should any thief try to jack the vehicle up to steal the converter
- If you see someone acting suspiciously under a vehicle, report it to Staffordshire Police.
Chief Inspector David Wain, Staffordshire Police’s senior investigating officer for this type of crime, said: "We ask that vehicle owners look out for this type of activity and record descriptions – noting down anything that could be useful to us.
"Try to obtain any key information such as registration numbers of vehicles carrying offenders and makes and models in case the plates have been changed.
"We would urge anybody who witnesses an incident taking place to call 999 immediately."
Contact Staffordshire Police on Facebook, Twitter, or call 101.
Alternatively, contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.