Appeal following catalytic converter thefts in Runcorn
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Officers investigating the thefts of catalytic converters in Runcorn are appealing for information from members of the public.
Shortly before 10pm on Tuesday 4 May two men stole a catalytic converter from a red MG car parked in Blantyre Street in the Old Town area before fleeing in a silver Vauxhall Vectra in the direction of Brindley Street.
One of the men pointed a baseball bat at a woman who challenged him whilst the theft was taking place.
He told her to go away as the other man was lying under the MG car so that he could access its catalytic converter.
The man with the bat is described as white, approximately 5’ 6” inches tall with a proportionate build.
He was dressed all in black, including a zipped hooded top, and had a black mask covering the lower part of his face.
Soon afterwards, two men stole a catalytic converter from a black Mazda car parked in Swinden Close, Windmill Hill, before fleeing in a silver Vauxhall Vectra in the direction of Windmill Hill Avenue.
The incident occurred shortly after 10pm and the offenders were both white and wearing all dark clothing, including black hats.
One of the offenders looked to be around 6’ tall and had a slim build. The other had a stockier build.
The incidents are believed to be linked.
Enquiries in relation to them are ongoing and detectives are urging anyone with information or footage that may aid their investigation to come forward.
Detective Sergeant Rob McLoughlin, of Runcorn Local Policing Unit, said: “I would like to reassure members of the Runcorn community that we are doing everything we can to establish who stole the two 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 Blantyre Street and Swinden Close areas of Runcorn that night and witnessed anything that may be relevant to our investigation.
“We also want to hear from anyone who believes they have may have CCTV or dashcam footage of the offenders, or know who they are.
“The same goes for anyone who thinks they may have footage or information regarding the silver Vauxhall Vectra that the offenders were travelling in.”
Anyone with any information or footage that may help the investigation should call Cheshire Constabulary on 101, quoting IML 980200, 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.
It takes specialist tools to remove a catalytic converter.
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.