New scheme to protect Herts drivers from catalytic converter theft

Catalytic Converter Theft Scheme

Drivers can have their catalytic converters marked at 11 Kwik Fit garages across Hertfordshire. - Credit: Kwik Fit

A new scheme has been launched aimed at protecting Hertfordshire drivers against catalytic converter theft.

Drivers are being offered a free vehicle check at 11 Kwik Fit centres across the county, along with a free Smartwater SmartCat kit to apply security markings to the catalytic converter, ensuring that it can be identified to a specific vehicle.  

Warning stickers are added to the vehicle to highlight the marking and deter would-be thieves.

Catalytic converter theft cases numbered 38,000 last year according to Police National Database, but the problem is particularly prevalent in Herts, with thefts increasing more than 140 per cent since 2019.

Marking the catalytic convertors can assist police in prosecution both thieves and people who knowingly handle any stolen catalytic converters.

The free vehicle check and Smartwater SmartCat kit will be available while stocks last at the following Kwik Fit centres:

  • Kwik Fit Borehamwood, Elstree Way
  • Kwik Fit Hitchin, 59-60 Walsworth Road
  • Kwik Fit St Albans, 212 Hatfield Road
  • Kwik Fit St Albans, Verulam Road
  • Kwik Fit Welwyn Garden City, Bridge Road E
  • Kwik Fit Hitchin, 91 Bedford Road
  • Kwik Fit Stevenage, 2 Argyle Way, Gunnels Wood Road
  • Kwik Fit Hertford, Unit 4, Windsor Industrial Estate, 424 Ware Road
  • Kwik Fit Harpenden, 74-76 High Street
  • Kwik Fit Royston, 28 Orchard Road
  • Kwik Fit Potters Bar, 37 Barnet Road

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“Catalytic converters are part of the exhaust system and contain precious metals to help reduce emissions,” said Ioannis Krouti, centre manager at Kwik Fit Potters Bar.

“As the value of these metals has risen in recent years, cats have become more attractive to thieves.

“Unfortunately, they cost a lot more for owners to replace than the thieves get for the metal from unscrupulous dealers, so we need to do everything we can to stop the theft in the first place.”

Superintendent Mark Cleland of British Transport Police added: “Well-lit busier areas are the best options for parking.

“If possible, park so it is harder to access the underside of the car, for instance by parking tight to walls and not having the car half on the pavement. Highly visible CCTV is also helpful."