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16 January 2014, 11:55
Motorists and garage owners in Cornwall and Devon are being asked to be vigilant following a spate of catalytic converter thefts.
The average converter contains one to two grams of platinum, palladium and rhodium, making them a target for thieves who can then attempt to sell these high value materials to scrap metal merchants.
In Devon and Cornwall over 1,000 catalytic converters have been stolen in the past three years and this week one motor dealer in Cornwall had 19 converters, with a combined value of over £30,000, stolen from their premises overnight.
A number of businesses and individuals have been targeted and police are warning people to do all they can to prevent thefts from their own vehicles.
Catalytic converters are used to decrease air pollution by converting toxic exhaust emissions into non-toxic substances.
You can help prevent your converter being stolen by taking one or more of the steps here.
People who witness any suspicious behaviour, particularly overnight on industrial estates or garage forecourts, to ring the non emergency police number 101 or to call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.