Appeal following catalytic converter thefts in Handforth and Warrington
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Officers investigating catalytic converter thefts in Handforth and Warrington are appealing for information from members of the public.
Three men wearing dark clothing and face masks stole a catalytic converter from a black Toyota car parked at Handforth Dean Retail Park in Handforth, near Wilmslow.
The offenders fled in a dark blue Honda Civic.
The incident occurred at around 12 noon on Monday 24 May.
The following day, catalytic converters were stolen from two Toyota cars parked at Bents home and garden centre on Warrington Road in Glazebury, Warrington.
The victims became aware of the thefts when they returned to their cars at about 3.20pm.
The thieves are believed to have been travelling in a dark blue Honda Civic and the incidents in Handforth and Warrington are believed to be linked.
Enquiries in relation to them are ongoing and officers are urging anyone with any information or footage that may aid their investigation to come forward.
Inspector Andy Baker said: “I would like to reassure members of the public that we are doing everything we can to establish who stole the catalytic converters and make them face the consequences of their actions.
“As part of our ongoing enquiries we want to speak to anyone who was in the Handforth Dean Retail Park car park at around 12 noon on Monday 24 May or the Bents home and garden centre car park in Warrington before 3.20pm the following afternoon and witnessed anything suspicious.
“It takes specialist tools to remove catalytic converters from vehicles.
“If you saw, or have dashcam footage of, anyone acting suspiciously in the car parks please get in touch.
“The same goes for anyone who believes that they may know who stole the catalytic converters or have information or footage regarding the dark blue Honda Civic that the offenders are believed to have been travelling in.”
Anyone with any information or footage that may help the investigation should call Cheshire Constabulary on 101, quoting IML 995641 (Handforth) or 996512 (Warrington), give the details via https://www.cheshire.police.uk/ro/report or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
Catalytic converter thefts have been on the rise across the country in recent times, due to the precious metal they contain.
There are a number of steps that motorists can take to reduce their chances of becoming a victim, including:
Protect your car by asking your dealer if they can give you any advice on locks or guards that are approved by the vehicle manufacturer and tested to Sold Secure Gold
If you can, park your car in a locked garage when it is unattended – otherwise, park as close to your property as possible or in a well-lit area clearly covered by CCTV
Try to park so that the catalytic convertor cannot be easily reached, close to a wall, a fence or tightly between other cars for example
If you are using a car park, use a ‘Park Mark’ one to ensure that it has been assessed and approved for security
Consider installing a Thatcham approved alarm to your car – ones that activate if your vehicle is lifted or tilted are particularly effective
Mark your catalytic converter with a forensic marker and register your converter to make it harder for thieves to dispose of it
If your converter is bolted on, the bolts can be welded shut – this would not stop a determined thief but would slow them down.