Moment brazen thieves steal catalytic converter from car parked on owner’s driveway while he ate his dinner inside the house

  •  Two thieves rolled up outside a house in Hurley, north Warwickshire on Sunday
  • The men jacked up a Vauxhall Astra on the driveway to steal part of the exhaust
  • One of the men used an angle grinder to slice through  

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This is the shocking moment a brazen thief jacks up a car before stealing its catalytic converter while the owner ate his dinner. 

The shameless theft happened in Hurley, North Warwickshire in broad daylight at 5.30pm on Sunday, March 7. 

The victim’s daughter, who did not want to be named, said: ‘My mum and dad are pretty shaken up. 

This is the moment a pair of thieves targeted a Vauxhall Astra sitting on a driveway to steal the car’s catalytic converter

The thieves jacked up the car before crawling under the vehicle and cutting off a section of the exhaust using a battery-powered angle grinder

CCTV footage from a neighbour showed the men attacking the car for around five minutes

Thieves use an angle grinder or a reciprocating saw to slice through the exhaust in a matter of minutes to access the precious meals inside

‘People need to see how quick and cheeky they are to get it off. Nothing at all was heard. 

‘We thought it was done in the middle of the night, it was only when I went round and asked the neighbour who has cameras on the front of their house that they found it was in broad daylight while my mum and dad were having their dinner. 

‘My mum and dad’s drive is that steep, they were really lucky that the car either didn’t fall on them or roll into the garage door where my mum’s car was. 

‘They have got to have targeted my dad’s car and watched to see when was best to get it off without being seen.’ 

According to the footage, the criminals took around five minutes to complete the theft and drive off. 

Warwickshire Police confirmed: ‘We were called to a report of the theft of a catalytic converter from a car in Hurley. 

‘The incident occurred sometime between 5.30pm on March 5 and 7.10am on March 8. 

‘If anyone has information that could help police with our enquiries they should call 101 quoting incident 298 of March 8, 2021. ‘Alternatively, information can be provided anonymously to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.’ 

Thefts of catalytic converters have risen recently as criminals sell the platinum inside to unscrupulous metal merchants. 

There is approximately 5g of platinum inside an average catalytic converter while the scrap value of the metal is around £25 to £30 a gram.  

How to avoid becoming a victim of catalytic converter theft 

  • Keep your vehicle in a garage or secure area if you have one 
  • Alarms, lighting and CCTV help to deter thieves 
  • Buy a protection device for you catalytic converter 
  • Set your dash cam to detect movement 
  • Park with your exhaust close to a fence, wall or kerb to make it difficult for thieves  
  • Avoid parking half on the pavement and half on the road as this makes it easier for thieves 
  • If parking in a car park try to park alongside other cars 
  • Mark your catalytic converter with your car’s serial number – this makes it harder for thieves to sell it on and means it can be tracked back to your vehicle if police seize it 
  • And remember, keep an eye out for people acting suspiciously (especially if they are under a vehicle) and report it by calling 999

A catalytic converter contains an inner core with around 5g of precious metals such as platinum

 

Police have also provided tips to prevent thefts such as these including:

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