Derbyshire police release CCTV footage showing 'brazen' thieves using saw to steal catalytic converter from car
A CCTV video released by Derbyshire Constabulary shows how easily catalytic converters can be stolen, after ‘brazen’ thieves used a saw to cut off the device in less than five minutes.
Residents across the county are being urged to remain vigilant, after officers said they published the recording of three men stealing a catalytic converter from a car in Derbyshire to show how easy the device which fits to a vehicle’s exhaust can be taken.
It comes after a rise in the number of catalytic converter thefts across Derbyshire and earlier this month, brothers Anthony and Thomas McDonald were jailed for a combined total of more than three years after pleading guilty to a number of thefts.
The men had embarked on a spree of thefts – with one incident which place in broad daylight, on the corner of a busy street shown in the CCTV footage released by Derbyshire police.
In the video, three men pull up next to a car and then one carries a jack to the side of the target car while the others keep watch.
Despite there being people up the road in a residential area, the thieves are undeterred and next use a saw to remove the vehicle’s catalytic converter.
The device is removed in less than five minutes and the video shows the men driving off in their car with a false plate dangling off the back of their vehicle.
Police eventually caught the Mcdonald brothers, along with an accomplice at Spider Island in Allenton, following a pursuit by the force’s roads policing unit.
According to Derbyshire Constabulary, more than 180 catalytic converters have been stolen across the county in the last year and the cost of which to replace them is nearly £200,000.
The devices contain two valuable metals, rhodium and palladium, which increased in value during 2020 and recently gone up again to the highest it has been in 10 years.
Hybrid cars are particularly vulnerable because their converters are cleaner, which means the metals inside them are less likely to corrode.
Officers are urging motorists and residents to report any suspicious behaviour immediately by calling 999 – where the incident will be treated as a crime in progress.