Catalytic convertor theft

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. Transit/Sprinter vans and other vehicles with high clearance are especially vulnerable.

The following sections provide crime prevention and reduction advice for vehicle owners:

Advice for vehicle owners

  • Where possible, park in your garage.
  • Alternatively, park in a location that restricts access underneath your vehicle.
  • Consider security lighting.
  • If your catalytic converter is ‘bolt-on’, you can have the bolts welded shut.
  • Consider the installation of CCTV to protect your vehicle.
  • Identify/etch your converter with a unique serial number and advertise that the vehicle has been protected (window stickers).

Advice for businesses

  • Fencing around vehicles may act as a deterrent to opportunist catalytic converter thieves.
  • If you have a fleet of vehicles, block those with high clearance using vehicles with low clearance. Obstruct access underneath the vehicles.
  • Consider the installation of security lighting.
  • Consider installing appropriate CCTV to protect your vehicle fleet.
  • If your vehicles have ‘bolt-on’ catalytic converters, you can have the bolts welded shut.
  • Identify/etch your converters with a unique serial number and advertise that the vehicle has been protected (window stickers). For more information visit www.retainagroup.com (opens new window).
  • Identify your catalytic convertors with forensic etching visit www.smartwater.com/catconverter (opens new window).

If you see any suspicious behaviour, call the police on 999. If you have any further information, please call the police non-emergency number on 101, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.