Call to be 'vigilant' over rise in catalytic converter thefts in Staffordshire
People have been urged to stay vigilant amid a rise in catalytic converter thefts across Staffordshire.
Police have issued the plea over the activity which seems to be taking place in broad daylight, officers have said.
Criminals target catalytic converters as they contain small amounts of precious metals which boosts their value.
Pc Robert Wheat, from the force's resolution centre, said: "It’s really easy for people to overlook these crimes because many don’t give it a second glance - innocently presuming that the cars are either being repaired or having their tyres replaced.
"However, this isn’t always the case and that’s why it’s important for members of the public to stay alert. Offenders tend to travel in groups of three or four and are opportunists – within minutes of targeting their vehicle, they will have stolen the catalytic converter and escaped.
"We need people’s help in tackling this issue so we ask if they can look out for this type of activity and record descriptions – noting down anything that could be useful to us.
"If it’s safe to do so, recording the incident on your phone is also extremely helpful."
Vehicles should be parked in well-lit areas which have CCTV in place – or areas with warning signs or fencing.
And marking a converter with a unique reference number will help police identify it, should it be stolen.
People who witness any suspicious behaviour should call 101 or contact Staffordshire Police on social media.
Alternatively, call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
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