Witness appeal following series of catalytic converter thefts near Sainsbury’s in Epsom

Surrey Police are appealing for witnesses after catalytic converters were stolen from three different cars in Sainsbury’s car park in Epsom on Monday 14th September.

At around 11am, three men were seen to remove the converters with a jack and electric saw. When a member of the public tried to intervene, the suspects threatened them with a metal pole.

The suspects are described as white, in their mid-thirties and of stocky build. One man was wearing a navy blue top and the other two were wearing white t-shirts. They arrived and left the car park in a dark grey Honda CR-V.

The car park was busy at the time of the incident and we believe that there will be multiple witnesses. If you saw anything suspicious, or recognise the car and suspects described, please contact us quoting PR/45200097499 via:

•             Webchat on their website surrey.police.uk

•             Online https://www.surrey.police.uk/ro/report/ocr/af/how-to-report-a-crime/

•             Calling them on 101

If you do not wish to leave your name, please call the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Surrey Police have issued crime prevention advice issued following spate of catalytic converter thefts from vehicles in Epsom And Ewell. The most popular vehicles targeted are predominantly the Toyota Prius and Honda Jazz and the majority have happened during the day.

Thieves are attracted by the potential to steal the valuable metals palladium and rhodium. The best way to prevent theft is to make access to your car’s converter as inconvenient and difficult as possible.

Here are some tips to prevent catalytic converter theft:

    • Park in as well-lit areas where possible.
    • Park close to building entrances or the nearest road in public car parks. This leaves your vehicle in a location where many people can see it.
    • If you have a garage use it and keep it locked.
    • Consider CCTV if your vehicle is parked on your driveway or a RING-type device.
    • Adjust the security system on your car or have one installed that will activate upon vibration, such as those produced by a saw.
    • Install a catalytic converter-specific security device, such as ‘ARMACAT’ or ‘CATLOC’ – https://blog.toyota.co.uk/catalytic-converter-theft-how-to-protect-your-car
    • Consider ID Etching – Etching a catalytic converter with a serial number will help police track a stolen converter and overtly advertising that a vehicle is protected by property marking may also deter offenders as it will potentially reduce the opportunities for selling on the converters at reputable scrap metal dealers. More information on ID etching can be found at www.retainagroup.co.uk
    • Consider welded bolts – If a catalytic converter is a ‘bolt on’ it is possible to have the bolts welded shut. This is only a deterrent to the lowest grade of catalytic converter thief working with a wrench but may still be enough of a deterrent to help prevent a theft.
    • Report suspicious activity to the Police. Obtain as much information as possible, including any vehicle registrations.

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