Man convicted over catalytic converter thefts

An 18-year-old man has been convicted of going equipped to steal catalytic converters in Cheshire.

Patrick Collins Jnr, of Ridgeway Avenue in Blackburn, pleaded guilty to the offence at Crewe Magistrates’ Court on Monday 17 May.

He tried to flee on foot after Roads and Crime Unit used a stinger to stop a Vauxhall Vectra on Manchester Road in Congleton on Friday 11 September.

Cheshire Police had been looking for the car as part of an investigation into catalytic converter thefts.

Sandbach and Warrington were among the areas that converters had been stolen in.

Tools used to steal converters were found in the car.

Collins Jnr was located and arrested a short distance away from the vehicle.

He was handed a 26-month prison sentence by the court, which was suspended for two years.

Collins Jnr was also ordered to pay £350 in court costs and a £128 victim surcharge, and a forfeiture order was imposed in relation to the car and the tools.

It takes specialist tools to remove a catalytic converter.

If you witness suspicious activity and suspect that a converter is being targeted, you should call Cheshire Constabulary on 101 or 999 as soon as it is safe to do so.

Officers also want to hear from you on 101 or via our website if you have any information regarding catalytic converter theft incidents or the identities of offenders.

The force’s tips for deterring catalytic converter thieves include:

  • Protect your car by asking your dealer if they can give you any advice on locks or guards that are approved by the vehicle manufacturer and tested to Sold Secure Gold

  • If you can, park your car in a locked garage when it is unattended – otherwise, park as close to your property as possible or in a well-lit area clearly covered by CCTV

  • Try to park so that the convertor can't be easily reached, close to a wall, a fence or tightly between other cars for example

  • If you are using a car park, use a ‘Park Mark’ one to ensure that it has been assessed and approved for security

  • Consider installing a Thatcham approved alarm to your car – ones that activate if your vehicle is lifted or tilted are particularly effective

  • Mark your catalytic converter with a forensic marker and register your converter to make it harder for thieves to dispose of it

  • If your converter is bolted on, the bolts can be welded shut – this would not stop a determined thief but would slow them down.

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