Motorists in Ireland are being warned about a spate of catalytic converter thefts. Travelling gangs are working ‘by rota’ to lift these devices off cars to cash in on the value of the metals inside them, accordion to the Irish Times. The theft of catalytic converters can be lucrative due to the high value of the time itself and the metals and materials used in its construction. They contain metals such as rhodium, palladium, and platinum, some of which can trade at higher values than gold at times
Catalytic converters are part of the exhaust system which helps filter out pollutants to make them less harmful.
There have been warnings issued to drivers in Limerick, Clare, Galway, Longford, Offaly and Laois counties.
Targeted vehicles include early models of Toyota Prius and Yaris as well as Mercedes Sprinter Vans.
A Garda source says that the theft of catalytic converters has ‘gone mad.’
“Last year, there was an average of 14 or 15 a month. In July alone this year there have been more than 50. There have been 28 in the first two weeks of August.”
“They appear to be predominantly in Dublin, with some in Galway and elsewhere,” the source added.
It has been suggested that these gangs are working on a ‘rota’ system which target different areas, cities and neighbourhoods at different times.
Mark O’Donoghue, a mechanic with Auto Exhausts in Crumlin, Dublin said he regularly gets cars in which ave had the device stolen.
“I would have weeks where I have one every day,” he said.
“A lad came in who had five Mercedes Sprinters in his business yard. Thieves took all five. He got them replaced on his insurance, but when he got the vans back the same thing happened again the next week.
“The insurance didn’t cover him the second time.”
It is not just Ireland where the thefts are taking place as there have been warnings in Cambridgeshire, Dewsbury, Nottinghamshire, Surrey, St Ives and many more areas of the UK where there have been reported thefts in the past week or so.
Motorists need to beware as failing to have catalytic converter can be costly.
It can cost you between hundreds and thousands of pounds to replace one.
Drivers are also urged to look after the one fitted to their car as you can fill your MOT if the car produces too high a level of harmful emissions.
It is recommended that you get it checked and cleaned periodically to reduce the chance of this as some can break if they are in poor working order.
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