The number of thefts of catalytic converters from vehicles has increased significantly since the start of this year, according to new figures.

A tenfold increase in mere months

Details released by AA insurance services show eight recorded catalytic converter thefts in January 2019. By October, this number had leapt to 79.

Furthermore, some vehicle owners had been targeted twice, showing how brazen some criminals are in attempting to get their hands on the precious metals contained within the parts.

Indeed, catalytic converters contain materials including palladium, rhodium and platinum that can be sold for scrap. Hybrid cars are the most frequently targeted because they have two power sources and so the metals within their converters are less likely to be corroded.

AA’s figures are backed up by police statistics that also demonstrate a spike in thefts. According to the Metropolitan Police, there has been a 73 per cent increase in what they call ‘cat theft’ within their jurisdiction.

Janet Connor, spokesperson for AA insurance services, said: “Criminals are being bold and brash by stealing converters in broad daylight, as they believe passersby won’t question someone tinkering underneath a car.”

Heather Stark, brand manager at The Fuelcard People, comments: “We would second the AA’s advice to always park in a well-lit area or garage if you can to prevent catalytic converter theft. You can also get hold of anti-theft devices marked with serial numbers that may act as a deterrent.”

See more from Refuel News