POLICE are urging residents to remain vigilant following an increase in catalytic converter thefts in the Crewe and Middlewich area.

Over recent weeks, officers have received four separate reports of thefts involving catalytic converters, specifically targeting Honda Accords on driveways.

DS Daniel Loveridge said: “While this investigation takes place, I encourage motorists to remain vigilant and review any security measures they have in place. While only Honda Accords have been targeted so far, other vehicles that may be at risk include those with a large ground clearance.

“I also ask scrap metal dealers to be mindful if they are offered a catalytic converter or exhaust system and to contact police if they are in any doubt."

Cheshire Police have issued the following advice that motorists can take to reduce their chance of becoming a victim.

Giving some consideration to the way your vehicle is parked could help reduce the chances of the catalytic converter being stolen such as parking your car in a garage, if possible.

If the car is at high risk, consider marking the metal shell of the converter with a unique mark, so that if it is removed by thieves it will be easier to trace back to your vehicle

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

CCTV may also help reduce offences and any CCTV systems should be well signed. Good quality lighting will improve natural surveillance and deter potential thieves as they are less likely to be able to remove a catalytic converter without being noticed.

If you have any information about the thefts, or if you see anyone acting suspiciously in your community, please call Cheshire Police on 101.

Alternatively, information can also be reported anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.