Police warn about catalytic converter thefts in Hastings and Bexhill area

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Police are warning motorists about catalytic converter thefts in the Hastings and Bexhill area.

Organised gangs are targeting cars after a combination of factors - including growing global demand for vehicles, and a slump in mining during the pandemic - has seen the price of the precious metals contained within the converters rocket in value. A single scrap catalytic converter can fetch around £400, with thieves selling them via scrapyards, online, or shipping them out of the country.

A spokesperson for Hastings Police and Rother Police said thieves can remove a catalytic converter within minutes and will often work in pairs, using a car jack to lift the vehicle. They said if you hear a loud drilling or cutting sound coming from under a vehicle, it may indicate a catalytic converter is being stolen.

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“If you have information about catalytic converter thefts or believe you have seen a theft taking place, report it to us ONLINE or call 101. In an emergency call 999,” they added.

Catalytic converters are fitted to vehicle exhausts to reduce the amount of dangerous gases emitted. Hybrid vehicles are most commonly targeted, as their metals are more valuable.