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Chorley Police is tackling the theft of catalytic converters head on, after a spate of thefts in the area.

The most common vehicles to be targeted are the Honda Jazz and Toyota Prius. Often vehicles are targeted in public car parks such as supermarkets or hospitals, where cars are left for a reasonable amount of time, but CATs can also be taken off private driveways.

Precious metals such as rhodium, platinum and palladium are used in catalytic converters. The price of some of these metals has risen sharply in recent years and as a result has led to an increase in the theft of catalytic convertors.

The neighbourhood police team has secured funding from LANPAC (Lancashire Partnership Against Crime) for 50 catalytic converter marking kits to be given away to members of the public who have already been victims.

After the CAT is marked it will be registered and stickers displayed in the car to show the Catalytic convertor is marked, making it harder to sell on.

Sgt Paul Harrison of Chorley Police said: “Offenders pull up alongside a vehicle and jack the target car up and remove the catalytic converter by sawing it off, to any nearby people it looks like they are changing a tyre. Victims don’t know anything is missing until they try to start their car and then they are left with a huge repair bill.”

Al Yusuf, from LANPAC added: “These marking kits will provide reassurance to the community that the police are working hard to combat thefts of this nature.”  To claim a free cat kit, email 5386@lancashire.police.uk with your proof of ownership of your Honda Jazz or Toyota Prius to arrange collection of one of the kits from Chorley Police Station. Kits will be given out on a first come first served basis.

Chorley Police has teamed up with Chorley Nissan on Ackhurst Road for victims to have their CATS marked for a small price of £10, all of which will be donated to Inspire Youth Zone. Chairman and founder of Chorley Nissan and Chairman of Inspire Andy Turner added: “It would usually cost around £20 to mark the CATS using the kits. As the police have been able to get the kits themselves for free, we wanted to do our bit, but we thought we could go one step further and help a local charity too.

“Inspire Youth Zone is a community charity investing in making the lives of thousands of young people in our area better, and they have to raise over £1million pounds every year to deliver their fantastic and sometimes literally lifesaving services. As with all charities they’ve been hit by the pandemic, and this is just a small way we can help.”

Follow the tips below to keep your vehicle as safe as possible.

For interview opportunities please email tracy.hargreaves@lancashire.police.uk or 07970 413875