Surrey Police are asking anyone who saw a silver Toyota Corolla with a registration ending CLJ acting suspiciously in Epsom on Saturday to contact them.
The car with three men inside was seen in the areas where five catalytic converters were stolen between 09:50am and 12:50pm.
Cars including the Toyota Yaris and Auris models were targeted in the Hobbledown car park, on Ruxley Lane, the Ashley Centre car park, and Hook Road car park.
We believe the reports are linked. Enquiries are ongoing to identify and apprehend the perpetrators.
Anyone who saw the Toyota Corolla or who has dashcam footage that could assist our enquiries should call 101 quoting PR/ 45200012901.
Alternatively, if you do not wish to leave your name, please call the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
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.
Surrey Police would like to take this opportunity to remind people of the following advice 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