There has been a huge rise in catalytic converters being stolen from cars in 2019, police in London say.
For the first six months of 2019, the number of thefts of catalytic converters jumped to 2,894, compared to 1,674 thefts for all of 2018.
In a car’s exhaust system, catalytic converters filter pollutants and turn them into less harmful substances.
In a video seen by the BBC, a criminal gang stole a catalytic converter in under three minutes in broad daylight.
The prices of certain precious metals have skyrocketed in the last 18 months – palladium is now worth £1,300/oz, while rhodium goes for £4,000/oz, according to FJ Church and Sons, a specialist metals merchant that is also the UK’s largest specialist in recycling catalytic converters.
The police urged vehicle owners “to be vigilant” and consider taking safety measures to protect their cars.