Motorists in Northampton are being warned to be on the lookout for thieves tampering with vehicles following a spate of thefts in the county in the past week.
Since Monday, February 10, a total of 18 vehicles in Northamptonshire have had their catalytic converters stolen.
The devices are a section of a vehicle’s exhaust system which reduce carbon emissions into the environment and contain a number of valuable metals.
They can be removed from a vehicle in between 90 seconds and three minutes, but can cost more than £1,000 to replace.
Chief Inspector Tom Thompson said: “We know offenders tend to favour vehicles with high ground clearance, such as vans and 4x4 vehicles, but we also know that people carriers are vulnerable too.
“Our advice to drivers is to be aware of this type of theft and park their vehicles in garages if possible. They should also consider getting their catalytic converters professionally marked, as this helps to deter thefts.”