Police have warned car parks are hotspots for thieves who target vehicle’s catalytic converter boxes to sell for parts. Law enforcement teams believe catalytic converter criminals are parking near large shops where there are large numbers of vehicles.
Leicestershire Police say thefts in broad daylight outside stores are becoming a growing trend and could prove a risk for anyone stopping at a supermarket.
Simon Preston, Detective at Leicestershire Police said: “They may be waiting just off the car park, watching which vehicles are coming and going.
“If they can catch a car as soon as it parks and the owner is inside the supermarket, it gives them a reasonable amount of time to get underneath the vehicle and get the catalytic converter.
“These thefts are happening during opening hours, so there are people around at the time.”
However, because catalytic converters are positioned underneath the vehicle many motorists may not be aware their car has been tampered with.
Road users could then travel on the roads without a converter which could see them hit with fines and penalties.
Catalytic converters help control the amount of emissions and pollution your vehicle produces meaning losing the device could see your car exceeding legal limits.
Police officers can issue a fine of up to £1,000 if the converter is missing even if owners didn’t know the device had gone.
Claiming for catalytic converter damage is likely to affect some motorists no claims insurance which could see overall premium costs rise.
However, in some cases it could even lead to a policy being invalidated in a major blow to some road users.
Failing to report car damage to an insurer is against many agreements terms and conditions and could lead to issues when claiming on your policy.
Some companies may believe you have removed the converter yourself and this could be viewed as a modification.
This is also likely to invalidate your cover if you have not previously informed the company of the change.
Invalidating a policy will see road users forced to pay for expensive repair bills themselves.
Invalidated cover is also likely to see road users blacklisted which will force them to purchase agreements from specialist providers.
Experts at the AA claim criminals were being more bold to steal converters in broad daylight and urged motorists to take precautions.
Janet Connor, spokesperson at AA insurance services said: “Where possible, drivers should park in a garage or in a well-lit area.
“Manufacturers have also developed anti-theft devices which can be attached to the fixings and give the converter a unique serial number.”
Published at Mon, 23 Mar 2020 15:06:00 +0000