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Massive reduction in catalytic converter thefts across Cambridgeshire

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Catalytic converter theft has reduced by 95 per cent across Cambridgeshire.

Chief Inspector Paul Rogerson, who oversees catalytic converter theft, said: “I want to thank members of the public who showed confidence in their local police team by reporting suspicious activity.

“It is only owing to their quick thinking and the swift reaction of local officers that we have seen such a huge reduction.

“Whilst we have disrupted three serious organised crime groups in our area by arresting and remanding individuals, we know other criminals won’t be able to resist the temptation to steal such valuable metal again. So, our message is please remain vigilant.”

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He added that the significant fall in crime comes as a result of members of the community reporting suspicious activity as they see it and police officers, familiar with the way thieves operate, providing an immediate response.”

On 23 March officers responded to a call from a member of the public reporting catalytic converter theft in Kingsley Walk, Ely.

Officers arrested three men who have since been charged in connection with catalytic converter theft.

During the first quarter of the year (January-March), catalytic converters were being stolen at a rate of almost four every day (3.8).

Since the start of April (1-26th) there have been six thefts recorded, a decrease of between 91 and 95 per cent compared to January (133), February (140) and March (73).

Local policing teams have been carrying out significant work to proactively disrupt organised crime gangs with support from the police helicopter and the road policing unit to help intercept suspects.

Officers have carried out targeted days of action and weeks of patrols, visited scrap dealers and have launched dates for further free catalytic converter marking.

Search warrants have been carried out linked to serious and organised crime groups who police are now investigating as part of a regional crime series.

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It takes just minutes for thieves to remove a catalytic converter and on many occasions, victims are unaware their vehicle has been targeted even though it was on their driveway. Thieves are also known to be violent and may carry weapons.

Toyotas and Hondas have been predominantly targeted but other vehicles including Lexus, Mercedes, Mazda, and Volkswagen have also been singled out.

Vehicle owners are urged to look out for vehicle jacked up (especially in the middle of the vehicle) and listen out for the sound of metal being cut. There may be a vehicle nearby with the engine running and two or three people involved.

Call 999 and share the vehicle number plate, make, and model. Where possible, also provide the make, model and VRM number of your own vehicle.

 Below are the catalytic converter stats for the past four years.

 

2019 – 314

2020 – 470

2021 – 727

2022 – 758

2023 (to date) – 352

 

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