Updated plea to "stay alert" after latest catalytic convertor thefts across Staffordshire
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Officers are appealing for information from the public and reminding them to “stay alert” after another spate of both attempted and successful catalytic convertor thefts across the county on Thursday (4 March).
The first incident occurred at about 12pm on Leonard Avenue in Baddeley Green, Stoke-on-Trent where a witness saw a blue Ford Fiesta with three men inside wearing face masks stop next to the victim’s car after travelling from the direction of Leek New Road.
One stayed in the car while a second jacked the vehicle up and the third cut the catalytic convertor off. They then turned around in the car park for Heels and Toes and left back towards Leek New Road.
The second incident happened at about 2.20pm when a resident of Lichfield Street in Tamworth saying they had just scared off two men, possibly of Eastern European origin, attempting to steal a catalytic convertor.
They were driving a grey Toyota car and, once disturbed, drove off in the direction of the roundabout that links to the A51.
At 5.40pm a car owner who had been at work on Upper Marsh in Newcastle-under-Lyme reported that somebody had cut the catalytic convertor off their car at some time during their shift, which began at 8.30am and finished at 5.30pm.
Their car had been targeted while parked in the free council car park next to the street. The offenders left a cutting disc and bolt on the floor next to the targeted vehicle.
At 6pm a nurse who works at Queens Hospital in Burton reported their catalytic convertor had been taken off their vehicle while they popped inside.
They reported that on the way in to the car park they had seen an old, blue Ford Fiesta parked to the side of the car park with two men inside and a third sat outside, leaning against the car.
And at 9.55pm on Davies Drive in Uttoxeter a resident described three possibly Asian men wearing all black clothing and black caps trying to gain entry to their property by forcing the door open.
When disturbed they fled towards New Road in a black Toyota Corolla.
Officers would once again like to remind people to remain vigilant to this type of crime following the latest incidents.
Chief Inspector David Wain, Staffordshire Police’s senior investigating officer for this type of crime, said: “It’s important for members of the public to stay alert.
“We need people’s help to tackle this issue so we ask that they 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. Often offenders will raise a targeted vehicle on a jack to get to the catalytic convertor. We would like to remind people that the tools they carry for such offences are dangerous to others so we would encourage people not to approach them and to call 999 if the crime is in progress.
“If the offenders have already left please use the Staffordshire Police Facebook or Twitter pages to report incidents.”
Anyone with any information about the above incidents should message Staffordshire Police on Facebook or Twitter, or alternatively contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.