A local police is urging people in Lichfield and Burntwood to remain vigilant after a rise in catalytic converter thefts.
Thieves have been carrying out the crimes in broad daylight in busy areas in a bid to get to the small amounts of precious metals contained in the parts.
But Lichfield Police Inspector Mark Ward said people were not often aware that a crime was taking place in front of them.
“It’s really easy for people to overlook these crimes because many don’t give it a second glance, innocently presuming 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 the help of local in tackling this issu and are asking them to 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.”Inspector Mark Ward, Staffordshire Police
Advice on how to protect cars from catalytic converter thieves is available at www.lichfielddc.gov.uk/catconverter.
Cllr Ashley Yeates, Lichfield District Council’s cabinet member for community engagement, added:
“As well as keeping alert to anyone tampering with cars and reporting any suspicious behaviour, we are offering advice about how to protect your car as much as you can from this type of crime.
“We hope our warning will help local people to be more aware of catalytic converter theft so they can prevent their car from being targeted.”Cllr Ashley Yeates, Lichfield District Council