Sussex catalytic converter thefts: Man arrested as investigation continues

A suspect has been arrested after a series of catalytic converters thefts across Sussex.

Catalytic converters are devices fitted to vehicle exhausts to reduce the amount of dangerous gases emitted. Police said they are often targeted by thieves as they contain 'valuable metals and can be quickly removed'.

According to Sussex Police, the alleged offences relate to thefts which took place in January 2021 in Eastbourne, Bexhill, St Leonards, Etchingham, Bognor and Littlehampton.

Officers from Specialist Enforcement Unit (SEU) made an arrest at an address near Dartford in Kent on Monday (January 10).

According to Sussex Police, the alleged offences relate to thefts which took place in January 2021 in Eastbourne, Bexhill, St Leonards, Etchingham, Bognor and Littlehampton.

The 55-year-old was taken into custody on suspicion of ten counts of theft from a motor vehicle, police said.

Detective Sergeant Tom Duffy, from the SEU’s investigations team, said: “The man has been released on conditional police bail whilst further enquiries are carried out.

“This arrest is part of ongoing investigations by our SEU investigations team to catch offenders and deal robustly with those involved in the theft of catalytic converters.”

Police confirmed the suspect will remain on conditional police bail until February 8.

A spokesperson added: "Catalytic converter theft most frequently occurs in car parks, but they can happen anywhere.

"Thieves may then sell these converters via scrapyards, online, or ship them out of the country.

"Signs of catalytic converter theft include a vehicle being raised using a car jack in a car park or residential are, and a loud drilling or cutting sound coming from underneath the vehicle."

Further advice on prevention of this crime is available online here.