Catalytic converter stolen while owner left vehicle in car park
A motorist has warned other car owners to beware of scrap metal thieves after she returned to her parked vehicle to find the catalytic converter stolen.
The driver, who did want to be named, said she may be forced to scrap her Honda Jazz to save paying excess on an insurance claim to replace the stolen part.
The theft happened on level one of the Crown Street car park between 11.10am and 1pm on Wednesday, March 4.
Other incidents were reported in the multi-storey car park in Burrell Road, where a Toyota Auris was targeted between 8.15am the same day and 11pm on Thursday, and at the Elton Park Business Centre, in Hadleigh Road, where one was stolen from a Hyundai Santa Fe overnight between February 28 and 29.
More than 35 incidents involving catalytic converter thefts were reported in Ipswich, Newmarket, Haverhill, Sudbury and Bury St Edmunds between mid-January and February 7.
Thefts of the exhaust emission control devices tend to increase in line with the price of platinum, palladium, and rhodium - the value of which recently exceeded $12,000 an ounce.
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The victim of the Crown Street theft said: "As soon as I started the car it sounded like a tractor engine.
"I've reported it to the police and the borough council but I thought other people should be aware."
Tactics to try reduce the risk of becoming a victim include parking in a locked and secure garage or compound; using alarms, lighting and CCTV to deter thieves, and parking in a well-lit public area in such a way as to make access to the catalytic converter difficult.
You can mark your catalytic converter by etching your vehicle registration onto the metal shell, or by using a heat-resistant Secured by Design (SBD) approved forensic marking solution.
Car owners should also consider installing an SBD approved converter security product, such as a clamp.
Anyone with information about recent incidents should call 101, quoting 37/13977/20 for the Crown Street theft, 37/13131/20 for the Elton Park Business Centre theft and 37/14086/20 for the Burrell Road theft.
You can also visit suffolk.police.uk/contact-us/existing-report-update, email ICMH@suffolk.pnn.police.uk or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.