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Catalytic converter theft

Catalytic converters contain precious metal. Thieves are taking advantage of the rising value of this metal, using cordless power tools and a car jack to remove them. This can be done in under a minute.

Dorset Police is working hard to tackle this issue. Below is some advice and information to help protect your vehicle.

There are a few things you can do to keep your vehicle safe.

Park your car in a locked garage where possible, but if this isn’t an option, then park it in a well-lit and well-populated area.

Park close to fences, walls or a kerb with the catalytic converter being closest to the fence, wall or kerb to make the theft more difficult.

Avoid parking your vehicle half on the pavement and half on the road, as this may make it easier for thieves to access the catalytic converter.

If there is a fleet of vehicles, park the low clearance vehicles to block the high clearance vehicles. This will obstruct access underneath.

If parking in a public car park, consider parking alongside other cars. With other vehicles around, this will make it harder for thieves to get close enough to steal it.


For cars parked on driveways, consider the use of a Secured by Design (SBD) approved driveway alarm and sensor. This may assist in alerting you of a potential intruder entering your driveway or garden.

Park in view of CCTV or video doorbells if available.

You can mark your catalytic converter with a unique code that will relate back to your vehicle. Please ensure any property marking is Secured by Design (SBD) approved and it is important that you register your details so that if your Catalytic converter is recovered. This means the Police will know exactly where it has come from and could potentially use the evidence for a conviction at court.

You can purchase a ‘cage clamp’ which is a cage device that locks in around the converter to make it more difficult to remove. The Secured By Design website have approved products and this can be fitted by your local garage or dealership.

Speak to your dealership about the possibility of installing a Thatcham approved alarm and tilt sensor that will activate the alarm should any thief try to jack the vehicle up to steal the catalytic converter.  

We need YOUR help to combat this crime!

If you see anything suspicious, report it  immediately on 999.

When you do, it will help if you can tell us: 

  • How many people did you see involved?
  • Any description of those involved - height, build, clothing etc...
  • Details of the vehicle they are travelling in, including any identifying features, such as the registration number, dents, marks or stickers.
  • Which direction do they leave the area in?

This is a crime that is having serious implications for the victims. It is not only financially disruptive, but it also impacts the victims ability to get their children to school, get to work, get to those they care for etc...

We are asking you to please help us tackle this crime. If you see anything that you think is a bit suspicious, please do your bit and report it immediately on 999.