Catalytic converter theft rise

MOTORISTS have been urged to be on their guard after police figures revealed a large rise of catalytic converter thefts in Suffolk.

Will Clarke

MOTORISTS have been urged to be on their guard after police figures revealed a large rise of catalytic converter thefts in Suffolk.

Police in the county have urged vigilance following a rash of thefts in Bury St Edmunds, Stowmarket and Newmarket when 20 of the devices were stolen over a weekend.

But the problem is becoming increasingly widespread with a major increase in reported converter thefts over the past three years.


You may also want to watch:


The crime wave is the latest effect of high platinum prices as scrapyards pay higher prices for the components, which are rich in the precious metal.

Analyst's believe prices have soared because platinum's main mines in South Africa have had problems with striking workers and power cuts.

Most Read

Previously the county has been warned of thieves stealing lead from rural church roofs, which has been blamed on strong Chinese demand for the metal.

Similarly the latest police figures show the theft of converters has exploded as prices soared.

In the period from July 2005 until June 2006 there were eight thefts of catalytic converters in Suffolk. In the past 12 months until the beginning of this month there have been 190.

In the same period the price of platinum has more than trebled on the open market.

A spokeswoman for Suffolk police said: “There has been a growing number of catalytic converter thefts in Suffolk.

“Often these are taken from private cars but they are also stolen from garages and depots.

“The problem is being driven by the high price of metals and we believe they are being stolen for their platinum, which are used in the devices.

“Police have been working with scrap dealers and stepping up patrols to tackle the problem but it is a difficult issue.

“We would advise drivers to leave their cars in well lit public areas overlooked by CCTV cameras if they don't have a secure area to park like a yard or preferably a locked garage.”

The most recent thefts in Stowmarket, Newmarket and Bury happened between 5pm July 8 and 8am July 10 when 16 vans and cars were targeted in car parks and commercial yards.

Anybody with information on these crimes should contact Bury police on 01284 774100.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter