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How to best look after your cat

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Thefts of catalytic converters from cars and vans are on the increase but there are ways to deter the thieves, explains Ray Teakle of Lansdown Road Motors in Stroud.

The ‘cat’ forms part of the exhaust system and reduces harmful gases and pollutants, but the precious metals inside them have soared in value and police forces across the country have seen the number of thefts double since 2019.

“We’ve seen the results of cat thefts from large vans, which are easy to get under, and also Toyota Prius hybrid cars. The cost of a replacement from a main dealer can range from £500 to £1,000 or even more for some vehicles,” said Ray.

The catalytic converter removes harmful gases from the exhaust.

What can be done to safeguard your cat? “We can fit cat guards which are a wire frame that bolts around the converter, or a cheaper option is to weld steel cable onto the cat and the chassis.

“It will deter thieves, but if they are determined they will still remove the cat,” added Ray.

Gloucestershire Constabulary offers the following advice:

  • Park vehicles close to walls, fences, kerbs and garages with the exhaust closest to these, making gaining access to the underneath of the vehicle more difficult
  • Where possible park your car in a locked garage
  • Avoid parking your car partially on the pavement and if using a car park consider parking between other parked vehicles
  • Consider CCTV, security lights and alarms where possible.
  • Consider purchasing catalytic converter covers or clamps which are widely available and offer protection.

More advice on how to help keep your vehicle safe from crime can be found on the Constabulary’s website: www.gloucestershire.police.uk/cp/crime-prevention/keeping-vehicles-safe/

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