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Surge in catalytic converter thefts sparks Hampshire Crimestoppers campaign

A SURGE in catalytic converter thefts in Hampshire has prompted a week-long campaign urging people to anonymously report offenders.

Independent charity Crimestoppers wants help to clampdown on the lucrative offence in which thieves target the exhaust emission control devices for precious metals such as rhodium and palladium.

Between October 2020 and March this year, almost 500 converters were reported stolen across the county, with the rise attributed to lockdown in which vehicles have been parked on driveways for longer.

Catalytic converter thefts have risen in Hampshire
Catalytic converter thefts have risen in Hampshire

Crimestoppers Hampshire and Isle of Wight regional manager Emily van der Lely said: “We know there have been cases where criminals, who work very quickly, have threatened victims who have tried to confront them and some drivers have been repeatedly targeted.

“We know it can be difficult to speak up about crime, especially if it’s about someone you know.”

As reported in the A&T, Totton town councillor Steve Shepherd (69) narrowly missed being hit by a ballbearing when he confronted raiders targeting his neighbour’s car in Bagber Road in the town in March.

It whizzed past him and hit the stairs, where his wife Teresa (63) had passed by just moments earlier.

Crimestoppers can be called on 0800 555 111 or online reports can be made at crimestoppers-uk.org but 999 should always be dialled in an emergency.

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