FOLLOWING a recent spate of catalytic converter thefts from vehicles in Selby district, police have launched an operation to put the ‘BYTE’ on thieves.
Catalytic converters have been targeted lately because of their scrap metal value.
But in an attempt to prevent further thefts, the police have teamed up with the Selby District Community Safety Partnership to launch Operation BYTE, which is a series of catalytic converter marking events.
The first is on Saturday at Reynold’s of Selby, Canal Road, from 12.30 to 4pm.
A police spokesman said: “The aim of the operation is to mark catalytic converters on the vehicles being targeted to act as a deterrent to thieves and those who would purchase them.
“The converters are being etched with the vehicle owner’s post-code and stencilled with a cat’s paw design using red heat-resistant paint.
“The vehicle will also display a window sticker highlighting the fact that it has been marked.
“Scrap merchants are being warned not accept any catalytic converter marked like this – unless robust proof of ownership can be provided linked to the post-code – or where there is evidence that these marks could have been removed or the catalytic converter tampered with in any way.”
Police will be conducting regular checks on scrap merchants’ records and premises. Any business or person found to be in possession of a stolen catalytic converter could face being arrested and charged with handling stolen goods. If found guilty it is also likely that their licence to trade would be removed.
Letters have been sent to recent victims of thefts, owners of 4x4 vehicles and vans to invite them to the marking event. Any members of the public who own one of these types of vehicles are also welcome to attend.
Just last May, police launched another Operation BYTE to tackle a rise in catalytic converter thefts
A marking session was held in Sherburn (Special Constable Carol Thompson left marking catalytic converters watched by garage owner Lister Morris) with 22 vehicles taking advantage of it.
Also in May, Selby Times featured South Milford woman Sue Fearnley (above), who had the catalytic converter stolen from her 4x4. Her story came on the back of police warnings about a rising tide of catalytic converter thefts.
Anyone with information on catalytic converter theft can ring police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.
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Thursday 05 December 2013
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