A spate of catalytic convertor thefts throughout East Lancashire has “hit victims hard”, police have said.
Officers are warning van owners to stay on their guard following eight reported incidents in Nelson, Colne, Burnley, Accrington and Clitheroe, since the beginning of March.
In each instance the Mercedes Vitto and Sprinter vans have been targeted overnight. Offenders have unscrewed the device from underneath the vehicle and made off undetected.
PC Vicky Beverley, of Burnley Police, said: “This spate of thefts is hitting the victims hard, leaving them without transport and having to claim on their insurance for the costly replacement of the stolen parts.
“Motorists should be aware that the removal of the catalytic convertor takes a matter of minutes by the offender who knows how to do it and does not create much noise.
“I would urge residents to take precautions such as buying a catalytic converter lock to protect against such thefts. These are inexpensive and come with a registration kit to ensure that the stolen item can be easily traced, deterring potential thieves from committing the crime in the first place.
“Please remain vigilant reporting anything suspicious to us. If anyone has any information about the thefts please contact us as soon as possible as you may be able to help us with our investigations.”
Anybody with any information can contact Lancashire Police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.