Thefts of catalytic converters increase as gangs target Fingal cars

by Gary Ibbotson

An Garda Siochana are warning Fingal residents to be vigilant and keep an eye out for groups of people stealing catalytic converters from vehicles in the area.

The warning comes after the latest in a string of thefts occurred at Malahide Castle car park last week.

In a statement, the Gardai say they “are investigating the alleged theft of a catalytic converter from a parked vehicle in Malahide Castle, that occurred on the October 16 at approximately 2.50pm,” and that tnvestigations are ongoing.

It is understood that the car was a Toyota Prius – a model that is being heavily targeted as their converters contain a high percentage of precious metals.

“Catalytic converters contain some expensive metal components and can be recycled to extract the metals. The frequency of the theft increases with the price of these materials,” Gardai said in a statement.

“The locations of the thefts have been all over the city, but the majority are from car parks and some on public roads.

“If you have one of the hybrid cars or models that have a catalytic convert fitted, please be aware of the threat and take simple precautions. Extra locks can be purchased to secure the catalytic converter or consider welding it to frame and engrave the cars VIN Number to it.

“Park in well-lit areas ideally covered by CCTV or where passing pedestrian traffic can observe. If you have a garage, use it and set the car alarm.

“Some car alarms can detect vibration through sensors. These thefts don’t take long and if you see somebody in a public area interfering with a car, contact Gardaí immediately.”

Fine Gael councillor Anthony Lavin told Dublin Gazette that he advised people to “park in a visible, well-lit area. Try and avoid parking in obscure blind spots. Although this gives no guarantee that the car will be safe.

“We need to be vigilant and report any suspicious activity in Car Parks or Side Streets or Estates etc to the Gardai in Malahide or ring 999 straight away.”

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