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By Dan Santy Friday 25 January 2013 Updated: 05/02 08:19
THREE drivers have suffered at the hands of thieves targeting catalytic converters in as many days.
Police are warning owners of vans and 4x4s to find ways to protect themselves from thieves after three converters were stolen this week from town streets.
Due to their height 4x4s and vans are easy targets for such thefts, with skilled thieves able to remove the converters in a matter of seconds.
On Monday (January 21) a catalytic converter was stolen on Winfield Street, causing more than £2,000 of damage to the vehicle.
Further thefts of converters were reported on Tuesday (January 22) from Malvern Avenue and on Wednesday (January 23) in Claremont Road.
Police are urging owners of 4x4s and vans to consider fitting anti-theft devices to their converters. The kits, which can be bought online, cost around £100.
Other security measures include etching kits which enable a catalytic converter to be identified if it is stolen.
And stickers placed in the vehicle window, stating the converter has been marked, may act as a deterrent to thieves.
Crime prevention officer, Ian King, said: "The cost of the kits to secure the catalytic converter is a small price to pay compared to the damage and inconvenience caused if it is stolen.
"I also recommend the cat converter is marked at the same time as the locking device is fitted. Unfortunately due to the speed with which the thieves can strike they can be stolen from wherever you park. The thieves arrive with their tools and within seconds have removed it.
"Police regularly carry out checks on scrap metal dealers, which is where the stolen catalytic converters end up, and if the owner has marked their cat converter police will be able to identify it as being stolen. This information alone could lead to an arrest and a conviction."
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