The Guardian newspaper 1st February in an article “Cat Theft’ warns that exasperated insurance companies facing escalating claims, up 600% in 2018-2019, are either refusing to reinsure or requiring premiums in excess of £2,000 for renewed cover. The pressure is on us all, Cats are extremely valuable and are increasingly targeted by thieves. Cats, an abbreviation for Catalytic Converters, the devices that modern cars have incorporated into exhaust their systems principally to reduce Nox emissions. The Cat Converters are not unlike silencer boxes but also contain a couple of precious metals rhodium and palladium. Rhodium is particularly valuable at $10,000 per ounce, six times the price of gold. Thieves can remove the Cat Converters from cars in a matter of minutes working from beneath the vehicles. The first you are likely to know about it is when you start up the car after a theft noticing warning lights and an extremely noisy exhaust system.
There were reports of Cat Thefts from car parks in Retford at a recent liaison meeting with our Rural Policing Team and a Sutton resident also recently suffered an attempted Cat Theft from the drive of their property. Presumably thse thieves were disturbed. Most at risk are Hybrid Vehicles and manufacturer Toyota reports a huge and sudden spike in thefts with 1,000 postings on its website many from furious customers complaining of the ease of removal. In 2018 Toyota supplied 60 replacement Cats, last year 4,800 replacements. Hybrid vehicles are particularly vulnerable as the Cats are cleaner, having to deal with lower emissions of exhaust gas. So what can you do to reduce the risk of Cat Theft? Garage your vehicle, park in well populated and well lit areas, think about buying a Cat Lock. A Cat Lock (typically “CatLoc” around £120) is a cover that fits over the Cat Converter to make removal that much more difficult.
Whatever precautions you take its certainly time to become more Cat Aware so that a theft is just that much more difficult for thieves to undertake.