The Crime Prevention Website


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Additional advice to prevent the theft of catalytic converters

Catalytic converters are designed to remove toxins from vehicle emissions. The devices contain small amounts of three precious metals: platinum, palladium and rhodium. In recent years, the price of these metals has soared to record levels, which means that catalytic converters can provide a substantial return to a thief for just a few minutes work.  Replacement and repair can run to many hundreds of pounds, loss of revenue for a business and increased insurance costs.

Transit/Sprinter vans and other vehicles with high ground clearance, such as some 4X4s, are especially vulnerable.

The following bullet points provide some additional crime prevention advice for vehicle owners and some tactics that will assist police should the worse happen.  This advice should be read in conjunction with the general advice contained in the Motor vehicle security section on this website.

Advice for vehicle owners

  • Whenever possible, park your vehicle in a garage
  • Alternatively, park in a location that restricts access to the underneath of your vehicle
  • Consider the installation of additional security lighting, but only if there is a realistic chance that the additional light would result in a thief being seen around your vehicle by responsive neighbours and or passersby.
  • If your catalytic converter is of a ‘bolt on’ type consider having the bolts welded
  • Consider the installation of CCTV to protect your vehicles
  • Identify/etch your converter using a proprietary marking and registration system and advertise this fact using windows stickers supplied with the marking system See Property identification - marking, tagging and trackingStandards for property marking products and services. Note that Retainagroup, who advertise on this website, specialise in vehicle and vehicle component identification.
  • Consider the use of a ‘Cat Clamp’, a product approved by the Association of Chief Police Officers. The clamp surrounds the converter with a cage of aircraft grade stainless steel, locking the converter to the vehicle chassis.
  • If you are a business and operate a fleet of vehicles from a yard improved fencing can help deter a theft. See the Garden Boundaries and Fences section on this website and its subsections.  In addition, and if practical, try and block access to vulnerable high ground clearance vehicles with ones of lower clearance.

This additional (edited) advice has kindly be provided to us by Anne Chalmers of Thames Valley Police