Drivers in Lichfield and Burntwood are being warned to be on their guard after a rise in catalytic converter thefts.
Staffordshire Police say the county has seen a rise in the crime, which sees the parts stolen from vehicles due to the small amounts of precious metals found in them.
PC Robert Wheat said intelligence showed many of the crimes were taking place in broad daylight.
“It’s really easy for people to overlook these crimes because many don’t give it a second glance – innocently presuming that the cars are either being repaired or having their tyres replaced.
“However, this isn’t always the case and that’s why it’s important for members of the public to stay alert.
“Offenders tend to travel in groups of three or four and are opportunists – within minutes of targeting their vehicle, they will have stolen the catalytic converter and escaped.
“We need people’s help in tackling this issue so we ask if they can look out for this type of activity and record descriptions, noting down anything that could be useful to us.
“If it’s safe to do so, recording the incident on your phone is also extremely helpful.”PC Robert Wheat
Police are advising people to get their converters marked with a unique reference to help identify any that are retrieved after being stolen.