Catalytic converters thefts soar as price of rhodium rockets

Police are hunting thieves after thefts of catalytic converters in Haverhill Picture: GETTY IMAGES

Police are hunting thieves after thefts of catalytic converters in Haverhill Picture: GETTY IMAGES - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Catalytic converter thefts have increased fourfold in Suffolk with thieves targeting Honda Jazz's and Toyota Prius and Auris models.

Suffolk police data reveals there were 54 reports of catalytic converters being stolen from cars in the county in 2019 but that increased by 272% to 201 in 2020.

Consumer charity Which? has said the rise in thefts is due to the sky-high value of Rhodium - which is now priced at around $20,000 or £14,000 per ounce. 

They said the Honda Jazz is one of the most at-risk cars - with an ounce of rhodium costing more than the car itself - to this type of theft along with Toyota Prius and Auris, due to the higher concentration of precious metals within the catalytic converters used.

The Clack family hope they can raise the money to replace their catalytic converters

Kimberly Clack with family - Credit: Kimberly Clack

Thefts can mean a huge increase in premiums and in one recent Ipswich case a family were threatened by thieves and then left out of pocket because of the cost of repairs. 

Mum-of-three Kimberly Clack had to pay £600 while her partner had to walk to work while they raised the money for repairs. 


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There are advertisements on Facebook Marketplace in Ipswich, Harwich and Colchester, offering cash for catalytic converters  despite this being made an offence under the 2013 Scrap Metal Dealers Act, and Which? believe these are fuelling the rise in thefts,

Picture taken of scrap metal sales in Suffolk

Picture taken of Facebook scrap metal sales in Suffolk - Credit: Facebook

A Facebook spokesperson said: “We have removed the listings brought to our attention for violating our commerce policies and have restricted users’ access to Facebook Marketplace.”

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Facebook also added that the sale of stolen goods is strictly prohibited, that its team of 35,000 experts work alongside technology to keep its platforms safe, and that people should report any suspicious accounts or posts.

Harry Rose, from Which?, said: “Catalytic converter thefts can leave victims with pricey repair bills, rising premiums or even complete write offs, so it’s concerning to see such a huge spike in these crimes across the country."

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