Officers investigating catalytic converter thefts are appealing for information from members of the public and urging them to be vigilant.
Catalytic converters were stolen from four hybrid cars in Warrington between 3pm on Tuesday 1 December and 12 noon on Thursday 3 December.
The locations and times of the incidents are:
- Fisher Avenue, between 3pm on Tuesday 1 December and 7.30am on Wednesday 2 December
- Hastings Avenue, between 6pm on Tuesday 1 December and 9am on Wednesday 2 December
- Longshaw Street, between 9.30pm on Wednesday 2 December and 12 noon on Thursday 3 December
- Howson Road, shortly before 7am on Thursday 3 December.
Two men dressed in black were seen stealing the catalytic converter on Howson Road. They arrived and fled in a grey Mini Cooper.
Enquiries in relation to catalytic converter thefts in Warrington are ongoing.
Detectives are urging anyone with any information or footage that may aid their enquiries to get in touch.
Detective Sergeant Tom Hall, of Warrington Local Policing Unit, said: “The cars were targeted whilst parked at the side of a road or on a driveway.
“Offenders use specialist tools to remove catalytic converters from vehicles.
“If you saw anything suspicious in the areas that the catalytic converter thieves struck please call the team here at Warrington Police Station on 101.
“The same goes for anyone who believes that they may know the identities of the thieves, or have CCTV or dashcam footage of them.”
Inspector Anton Sullivan, of Cheshire Constabulary’s Roads and Crime Unit, added: “Catalytic converter thefts are on the rise across the country, with offenders predominantly targeting hybrid vehicles.
“I would like to reassure residents that we are doing all we can to tackle catalytic converter thieves operating in Warrington or anywhere else in Cheshire.
“We respond to any report of a catalytic converter theft as a matter of urgency and ensure that all subsequent lines of enquiry are carried out.
“In addition, we react swiftly to any information we receive regarding people suspected to be involved in the thefts of catalytic converters.
“We have made several arrests in relation to catalytic converter thefts in Cheshire over the past year and recently secured charges regarding such thefts in the Warrington area.
“Car owners can play a significant role in tackling catalytic converter thefts by being vigilant, reviewing any security measures they have in place and calling the police on 101 as soon as possible if they see anyone removing catalytic converters or acting suspiciously in car parks, on driveways or anywhere else where vehicles are left.
“In addition, we urge scrap metal dealers to be mindful if they are ever offered catalytic converters or exhaust systems and to contact us if they suspect that they could have been stolen.”
Cheshire Constabulary’s tips on how motorists can reduce their chances of becoming a victim are:
- If possible, park your car in a garage
- If your car is at high risk, consider marking the metal shell of the converter with a unique mark, so that if it is stolen it will be easier to trace back to your vehicle
- If your catalytic converter is bolted on, the bolts can be welded shut – this would not stop a determined thief but would slow them down
- Giving some consideration to the way your car is parked could reduce the chances of your catalytic converter being stolen – high and low clearance vehicles being parked close together make it more difficult for a thief to gain access to converters
- Good quality lighting will improve natural surveillance and make a thief less likely to be able to remove a catalytic converter without being seen
- Leaving your car in an area covered by CCTV may also deter thieves – CCTV systems should be well signed.
Anyone with any information or footage regarding catalytic converter thefts in Warrington or elsewhere in Cheshire is asked to call 101, give the details via https://www.cheshire.police.uk/ro/report or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.