And, based on Admiral automotive insurance coverage, the regarding figures are displaying no signal of easing up.
Catalytic converters kind a part of the exhaust system in some vehicles they usually course of the emissions from a combustion engine into much less dangerous gases.
They’ve come to the eye of thieves due to the dear metals together with rhodium, gold, platinum and palladium which are used inside some catalytic converters, which might then be offered on for revenue. At current, palladium is much more worthwhile than gold and platinum is value round two thirds the worth of gold.
Regardless of the excessive worth of the dear metals used inside catalytic converters, Admiral warns they’re comparatively easy to steal because the exhaust system is uncovered beneath most vehicles, making them a simple goal within the present local weather.
And though the insurance coverage firm was not ready to reveal precise numbers of thefts it did affirm that it offers with a number of hundred claims every month and that the quantity was rising considerably.
Between 2019 and 2020, the rise in claims for thefts of catalytic converters rose by a staggering 44 per cent. And in March 2021, there have been 57 per cent extra claims than March final yr with the typical value for every declare being about £1,500.
Based on Admiral, legal gangs are believed to be liable for the thefts and it’s thought the proceeds might be used to fund greater crimes.
Lorna Connelly, Head of Claims at Admiral explains: “The theft of catalytic converters is usually carried out by opportunist thieves who could also be working their means round completely different neighbourhoods.
“This isn’t at all times the case, nonetheless, and there may be proof to counsel that legal gangs are concerned in a lot of these thefts. The valuable metals used inside catalytic converters are offered at a revenue, and that revenue might be used to fund even greater crimes not simply within the UK but in addition overseas.
“We consider that many stolen catalytic converters are taken overseas, which might clarify why the thefts dropped off in the course of the first lockdown final yr.
“Palladium appears to be of explicit curiosity and criminals are conscious of which catalytic converters are extra profitable and comprise extra treasured metals than others.”
The price of every declare tends to vary relying how a lot harm is prompted to autos. However as it’s fairly an opportunist crime, the thieves are sometimes in a rush so are inclined to trigger extra harm.
Lorna Connelly added: “Most of the vehicles focused are older fashions, possibly as a result of the amount of treasured metals their catalytic converters comprise is increased. Sadly, if the harm to those vehicles is simply too extreme, they could have to be written off.
“When the automotive might be repaired, the work might be delayed as there’s a shortfall of substitute catalytic converters given the sheer quantity of the thefts happening and provide simply can’t sustain with the demand. This could trigger further misery as motorists have to attend longer for his or her automotive to be repaired.”
Based on Admiral, hybrid fashions appear to be most in danger with the likes of the Honda Jazz, Toyota Prius, Toyota Auris and Lexus RX typically falling sufferer, together with older fashions specifically. The hybrid vehicles are focused as a result of their catalytic converters comprise the next focus of treasured metals and are typically much less corroded.
Lorna Connelly mentioned: “Our information reveals that the variety of catalytic converter thefts happening is dramatically rising once more after a lull firstly of the pandemic.
“Sadly, it doesn’t take lengthy to steal a catalytic converter and if thieves can get beneath the automotive, they’ll merely use cutters to take away them.
“In case your automobile’s catalytic converter has been stolen, it might make a major noise whenever you begin the automotive and you may’t drive the automobile with out one.
“No matter which automotive you personal, you have to be vigilant and do every thing you’ll be able to to verify it’s parked in a secure and safe place. In case you don’t have a non-public driveway or storage, parking someplace effectively lit, and never parking half on the pavement will make it more durable for thieves to entry the catalytic converter.
“Some thieves are savvy and can put on hi-vis vests to throw potential witnesses off the scent and unassuming passers-by might fairly simply assume official work is being carried out. In case you do see somebody beneath a automotive in your road, make an observation of any helpful info and report it to the police or Crimestoppers.”
And the police have issued their very own recommendation in a bid to scale back the variety of thefts.
Prime security suggestions embrace: Park in a locked storage or in a well-lit, densely populated space; Park near fences, partitions or kerbs with the exhaust being closest to the barrier as it will make the theft harder; Keep away from mounting your automotive on the kerb to park because it offers thieves easy accessibility; In case your catalytic converter’s bolted on ask your native storage to weld the bolts to make it harder to take away; Think about a ‘cage clamp’ which locks across the converter and communicate to your automotive dealership a few tilt sensor that prompts the alarm if somebody tries to jack up your automobile.