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Catalytic converter thefts from motorhomes on the increase shutterstock

Catalytic converter thefts from motorhomes on the increase

Police in Wiltshire are warning motorhome owners about the risk of catalytic converter thefts following an increase in reported incidents from residents of Marlborough. Three local motorhome owners have had to claim on their motorhome insurance after catalytic converters were stolen from their vehicles, and in each case the motorhomes were safely parked on their owner’s driveway.

Catalytic converters (CATs) are fitted in the exhaust of the motorhome and by chemical reaction substantially reduce harmful pollutants from the exhaust. Precious metals (platinum, palladium and rhodium) are coated onto the surface of the catalytic converter and it is this that thieves are after. As a motorhome is a taller vehicle they are particularly vulnerable as the converters are much more accessible, and because they normally have larger engines, they contain more of the precious metals. The local police are also urging owners who have not used their motorhome during the winter to check their converter as soon as possible because there is a chance it may have been stolen.

Wiltshire Police Crime Prevention Officer Amanda Clarke said: “If you run a motorhome you need to be aware of the risk of catalytic converter theft, particularly as they have large ground clearance. Thieves are targeting catalysts, located in the exhaust system under the vehicle, because of the high value of the precious metals they contain. All owners should install a security device to protect the catalytic converter. There are many available including alarms and locks or simply welding the bolts shut.”

Wiltshire Police have also produced a leaflet suggesting some simple steps to help mobile home owners reduce the risk of becoming a victim of this type of theft. The leaflet includes advice such as marking the catalytic converter and placing a sticker on the vehicle advertising the fact as well as purchasing security alarms.

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