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Catalytic Converter Theft Latest (Tameside)


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Hi.

Just an update to make owners aware, on Saturday I had my catalytic converter stolen on the M&S/Sainsbury's car park in Ashton Under Lyne.

Only in the shop 10 minutes.

Now have a temporary repair.

Just be aware and keep an eye open for the scumbags!!!!

Regards.

 

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Check the car park signage to determine if you can pursue the owners for negligence.

Have you asked to view the cctv footage Phil ?

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Hi.

Not checked the signage, I assume it will say "...at owners risk...."

Currently waiting for a reply from vendors regarding CCTV.

Reported to Police, Covid trumps Cat.🤣

Regards.

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Just now, P Wright said:

Hi.

Not checked the signage, I assume it will say "...at owners risk...."

Currently waiting for a reply from vendors regarding CCTV.

Reported to Police, Covid trumps Cat.🤣

Regards.

Not checked the signage, I assume it will say "...at owners risk...."

Phil, You could be right, but one never knows!

And do read the signage re the cctv as the statements on both signs could be contradictory.

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There was a cat theft just a few doors away from me one night last week.  Strangely, the 3RX on their driveway was untouched, but their 51 plate Yaris had its cat cut off.

Later the same evening, there was another attempted cat theft 2 streets away, but it seems that the miscreants were disturbed since no theft occurred on that occasion.  

Very worrying.

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Hi.

Yes, but par for the course, there will always be people who prefer\choose the easy option regarding income.

It's the unscrupulous scrap yards that buy them that encourages the theft.

Regards.

 

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26 minutes ago, Ian M said:

There was a cat theft just a few doors away from me one night last week.  Strangely, the 3RX on their driveway was untouched, but their 51 plate Yaris had its cat cut off.

Later the same evening, there was another attempted cat theft 2 streets away, but it seems that the miscreants were disturbed since no theft occurred on that occasion.  

Very worrying.

Was the 3RX a Hybrid Ian ?

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26 minutes ago, royoftherovers said:

Was the 3RX a Hybrid Ian ?

Yes, 2013 RX450h, same as mine. 

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1 hour ago, P Wright said:

Just an update to make owners aware, on Saturday I had my catalytic converter stolen on the M&S/Sainsbury's car park in Ashton Under Lyne.

Only in the shop 10 minutes.

Now have a temporary repair.

Just be aware and keep an eye open for the scumbags!!!!

I know you're only trying to be helpful and I thank you for that and I also applaud your public-spiritedness, I do, but I think we all need to think of safety.

As you say above, "Covid trumps cat" - but personal safety also trumps cat. One of the 'cat theft' videos I saw on YouTube the other day showed one scrote jacking up the car while his mate was standing in full view, broad daylight, with a two-foot long machete in his hand, looking quite nonchalant and as though they had every right to be doing what they were. I have to say that, faced with a two-foot machete, they would indeed have the right to take mine.

In reality there is so very little we can do; nowhere is safe to park and no amount of parking against walls or whatever will deter them.

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Makes my blood boil .........this sort of behaviour . The law does not protect you from this sort of personal property invasion . the crooks know it as well and laugh at the authorities, ineffective  as they are  .there needs to be a seed change in thinking about enforcement ! 

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53 minutes ago, Ian M said:

Yes, 2013 RX450h, same as mine. 

Hope you are Keeping that SC in a garage under lock and key .................. The RX can stay outside !🤗

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2 hours ago, nicnac said:

Hope you are Keeping that SC in a garage under lock and key .................. The RX can stay outside !🤗

Naturally. 

Neither of them is getting much use at the moment though. 

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https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-53854483

I assume the Police have had a success or two in catching some of these scumbags and where this has happened they should be given long sentences in a blaze of publicity, hopefully to deter others.  

Of course,  the US Presidential  Election,  ramifications of Covid, Brexit and to a lesser extent Terrorism, seem to have squeezed out almost all other news about things that are happening at present. 

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I'm involved in the MX-5 scene and as difficult as you'd think it would be for a low-slung sports car to be a popular target, the cat stealers prefer the 2001-2005 MX-5 above other cars because the cat is quite large and has a higher quantity of rare metals in it. The cat from that year MX-5 on it's own is worth over £200 scrap, compared to (say) £20 for a Fiesta.

Lots of thefts in London, especially South London. Of course as London becomes greener and cars have to be ULEZ-compliant (and require more/bigger cats) then the thefts will be concentrated where there's more cats available. But Japanese cars seem to be more of a target, I assume because the cats are better quality and fetch better money. 

Ashton is my home town although I now live on the South Coast. I've parked in that car park loads of times taking Mum to M&S. I'll have to be wary from now on.

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4 hours ago, Delphius1 said:

But Japanese cars seem to be more of a target,

I think some of the popularity of Japanese cars as targets is because those companies' production engineering abilities have made the size and type of fasteners very uniform, and the access better than their European counterparts.  An absence of Torx or multiple-spline fasteners, for instance, means that a favoured cordless drill/driver with a 14mm socket fitted, will do for a lot of the work the filth get involved with on the Japanese cars. (And a cordless angle grinder or saw of course.)  The sprung-loaded bolts in the OP's pictures are exactly the same ones as fitted to all Prius, Auris, Yaris, Corolla etc.etc.  So no nasty surprises for these thieves when the working how to get the cat. off - if you are under a car you don't want to start experimenting with what tools you need, I'd guess.

I used to visit Johnson Matthey occasionally with work.  They make 30% of the world's car catalytic converters.  The cat. technology is constantly evolving they said, and they are always managing to develop 'wash coats' with less precious metals in them to treat their ceramic cores.  So old catalysts will have more precious metal in them than newer ones.

I did wonder, but the people I was meeting at JM couldn't answer (wrong department), if the hybrid catalyst was bigger than normal, and thus more valuable.  This I suspected, might be on account of these cats  working outside of their optimum performance temperatures (which is around 600 centigrade, IIRC), due to the stop/start nature of the engine. I'm still working on that one, and JM don't make cats for Toyotas....

I think on modern petrol engines, the cold start warm-up cycle (esp. the higher revs!) is partly to get heat into the catalyst to bring the emissions down ASAP, as I understand it anyway, especially four cylinder engines with tuned, four-branch manifolds (for economy or performance), which then have the cat. a distance from the engine, and more easily stolen.  This is also design problem from a cat. heating point of view.  

I think on the Toyota hybrids (and other cars) the cold start ignition timing is deliberately retarded (during hybrid phase S1a?) so that the gas going down the exhaust is hotter, even sometimes with some unburnt fuel in it, so that can land on the cat. and get it up to temperature fast. 

On the hybrid Toyota Yaris, new and old, the catalyst is integral to the exhaust manifold (some call this a manicat), Thefts of these car's catalyst are almost completely unknown - you would have to work bonnet-up and underneath on this one, I think.

I suspect this has gone a bit off-topic, and not much to do with Tameside...whoops!

Stay safe!

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It would be nice if the thieves used tools. The tool of choice for them is the angle grinder or the reciprocating saw. 

18 hours ago, Boosh. said:

I think some of the popularity of Japanese cars as targets is because those companies' production engineering abilities have made the size and type of fasteners very uniform, and the access better than their European counterparts. 

It would be nice if that was the case and the thieves used "proper" tools to remove the cats, but they use angle grinders or reciprocating saws and just cut the exhaust either side of the cat. With the MX-5 they usually cut the downpipe with the cat on it and the mid-pipe, which means the poor victim has effectively to buy a complete new exhaust system. 

At least with the 2nd gen RX you can get away with replacing the cat with a straight pipe and it will still pass emissions thanks to the cats in the manifolds. But a picky MOT tester might fail it for the missing cat and if you get stopped in the ULEZ in London VOSA or whoever enforces it might have a dim view of it because the cat is part of the Euro  (4?) compliance. The missing cat effectively makes your car not compatible with the ULEZ.

Family up North in Tameside have been warned of the issue, thanks to the OP for posting the warning. (To keep post on topic).

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13 hours ago, Delphius1 said:

It would be nice if that was the case and the thieves used "proper" tools to remove the cats, but they use angle grinders or reciprocating saws and just cut the exhaust either side of the cat. With the MX-5 they usually cut the downpipe with the cat on it and the mid-pipe, which means the poor victim has effectively to buy a complete new exhaust system. 

That's interesting. 

Not of much use to you but, on the Prius gen3, Auris and CT200h (the first two seem to be the most common targets on any police reports of cat. theft that I've seen), a pair of 14mm bolts are always undone with a drill/driver fitted with a lengthy extension.  Those two bolts are attaching the cat. to the exhaust manifold, so relatively hard to get to apart from when attacked straight-on.. And the pipe is then cut between the 1st and 2nd silencer boxes. As you mention, this with a reciprocating saw, or maybe an angle grinder.

The common bolt in the above thefts is this one.  I've tried to make the head of these bolts 'anti-tamper' on our cars.  Toyota has since come up with a hammer-on addition to the bolt head that has the same effect, and it's a reasonable £15. 

I see, sadly, that none of these mods will be of any help to an RX owner.

Interesting too about the MX5.  I've got an old one, I hadn't heard of one of those being 'done over' so far, but clearly they are!

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Drive way, jack Russell - wife who seems to hear if touch a beer can after midnight.

 

Gone - no-one heard a thing. Look how straight the cuts are.

Not the 1st one me thinks

Oh and until I could get an aftermarket CAT TGS in Stockport saved my life by manufacturing custom temporary join. Thanks Danny and the team at TGS

cat theft rx400h.jpg

cat theft rx400h.jpg

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7 hours ago, elche286 said:

Drive way, jack Russell - wife who seems to hear if touch a beer can after midnight.

 

Gone - no-one heard a thing. Look how straight the cuts are.

Not the 1st one me thinks

Oh and until I could get an aftermarket CAT TGS in Stockport saved my life by manufacturing custom temporary join. Thanks Danny and the team at TGS

cat theft rx400h.jpg

cat theft rx400h.jpg

Ashton, Stockport, looks like the thieves like to travel! It's scary that people are roaming the streets looking for likely targets. 

I think I need to act on my suggestion a few months ago of wrapping the cat in Razor wire! That way the tealeaf will earn his money if he nicks the cat and the Police can get a DNA sample from the blood left at the scene. lol. 

 

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For anyone that still has a standard cat I would encourage you to take your car to a garage to have the catalyst removed. A good exhaust place will be able to weld fittings onto a straight pipe AND your original cat which will make it an easy swap in/out item for you and future owners. 

I had planned to do this the week mine was stolen (so too late). They don't just damage your exhaust, they typically lean all over your car and the saw blade makes a mess of the underside. 

Rob

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16 hours ago, TouringRob said:

For anyone that still has a standard cat I would encourage you to take your car to a garage to have the catalyst removed. A good exhaust place will be able to weld fittings onto a straight pipe AND your original cat which will make it an easy swap in/out item for you and future owners. 

I had planned to do this the week mine was stolen (so too late). They don't just damage your exhaust, they typically lean all over your car and the saw blade makes a mess of the underside. 

Rob

I pre-empted the theft and did exactly this on my RX400h before it was stolen, but as I was going to park it at a high risk location (park-and-ride car park) I thought it was worth it for peace of mind - cost me £90 at my local exhaust place and I stored the cat in my garage ready to refit for the mot. As it happens, I didn't bother refitting it and just took it for the mot at my local Toyota main dealer. I even told them that I'd removed it and they agreed that checking for the presence of a cat on a hybrid car is not part of the mot test and it passed without drama...

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Manufacturers could come up with tricks like retractable side rails that prevent people from getting under the cars in the first place on big cars like RX's.  Our way of dealing with it is that we NEVER park the RX at any supermarket or ride and park or any other high risk theft area.  We have an old banger used for local runs to these sort of places for things like shopping runs.  I gave up parking the RX in supermarkets shortly after buying mine as it wasn't long before I started to notice small dents and scratches appear due to the other "scum bag" part of humanity, the low life shopper with a trolley who couldn't give a damn about other people's property.

I couldn't care what happens to the banger.  Replacing it costs less than the cost of my current repair bill for the PBD eco & power pack....in fact, RX UNreliability issues have cost me more than any damage or theft...to date.  I digress though.   The police are not interested in following up car park damage unless they have an open and shut case presented to them with all evidence.  I once had a lovely little vRS badly dented and scratched by someone in a red car (red paint left on my car) who side swiped 3/4 of the side of my little Fabia in our local supermarket.  It took several requests to get anything out of the supermarket re CCTV and the police were just not interested in doing anything.  I am afraid the signs are right.  Either park at these places at your own risk or be prepared to take the law into your own hands.

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