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Selling hybrids due to cat-theft risk?


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As we are all no doubt aware, catalytic converter theft for many hybrid vehicles is rife (especially for Toyota/Lexus models), insurance premiums are rising and if you're like me, I get anxious every time Ieave my Lexus in a public space now. 

I'm considering selling on to cut out (excuse the pun) this stress or am I perhaps worrying unnecessarily now that my car has been in for the Smart Water deterrent application (and associated windows stickers to that effect). I personally can't believe this will have any significant effect on deterring the theft, or can anyone convince me to the contrary? 

Has anyone on here actually moved their Lexus hybrid on re such paranoia? 

Thanks. 

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I think you are worrying yourself unnecessarily,  the probability of you having your cat stolen is infinitely lower than the probability of you having an accident.

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I agree with Scudney.

Everything in life is a risk so stop worrying and just enjoy the car - especially given that every petrol car has a cat so every car is at risk anyway.

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As above - the likelihood is quite low, the annoying thing is that police does nothing about it and just pushes the responsibility on insurance. What I would say - car insurance won't increase just because of CAT theft, because then every single car is affected (even diesels have DPFs). What would significantly increase your insurance is if you make a claim on it, I would be inclined to even leave unreported (depending on how much you actually pay, but expect at least 30% jump next year) - just unfortunate nature of how UK insurance works. So does insurance get more expensive for all cars as result of CAT theft - No, but it definitely increases to individual owners who makes a claim for repair.

I don't think there is any particular way to avoid it, but try not to leave your car in quiet places at night. Leaving it on public road during the day is not an issue, locked compound at night with some light and maybe CCTV would be ideal. 

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Thank you. 

I admire all of your positivity and optimism. Statistically, though, as Lexus are relatively rare then if a criminal scout sees one, in a high risk region, say, in my eyes you're at a significant risk? If I drive a Ford, say, I'd not be worrying about such a scenario/crime. I just feel like I'm driving around and visiting places advertising this risk. I may feel inclined to limit travel etc that then affects my freedom etc. 

Do you think such security water marking will deter a thief? 

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I,m definately not worried about this and if i was you i would keep the car and as said enjoy it.

After having a Catloc fitted at a Lexus dealer with warning stickers i feel more safer about it.I,m picky where i park it anyway so don,t really leave it in any dodgy areas.

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I would argue simply having stickers that you have cat-lock is all is needed 😄 If any thief going to bother looking at the stickers then this will be enough, if they not worried about the stickers then even cat-lock won't help, worse case scenario, if they could not pull the Cat they will smash your windows for trying to protect yourself, don't forget they are not normal people!

I don't think watermarking or anything else will help, these are animals - if they actually want your cat they don't care. And watermarking is only important if police going to get involved, but they wont! Police will openly tell you to call your insurance and claim, I give 90% chance they will refuse to even attend the crime scene and collect evidence. In UK crime against cars is practically decriminalised now, forget about getting help from police.

Again - don't be afraid to drive your car, nobody steals cats in the public place in the middle of the day when you go shopping. They steal cats on quiet streets at night/evening/early morning. Sure once in a while the make brazen opportunistic attack, but that is extremely rare - most of the time they try to avoid people wherever possible. 

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On 8/1/2021 at 5:51 PM, MadJam250 said:

Thank you. 

I admire all of your positivity and optimism. Statistically, though, as Lexus are relatively rare then if a criminal scout sees one, in a high risk region, say, in my eyes you're at a significant risk? If I drive a Ford, say, I'd not be worrying about such a scenario/crime. I just feel like I'm driving around and visiting places advertising this risk. I may feel inclined to limit travel etc that then affects my freedom etc. 

Do you think such security water marking will deter a thief? 

I sympathise with your view. If I lived in a high risk crime area I think I might consider moving mine on. Life’s too short to sit there worrying about where you park and when. Being told not to worry is probably not going to stop or reduce your worry. 
 

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On 8/1/2021 at 5:51 PM, MadJam250 said:

Thank you. 

I admire all of your positivity and optimism. Statistically, though, as Lexus are relatively rare then if a criminal scout sees one, in a high risk region, say, in my eyes you're at a significant risk? If I drive a Ford, say, I'd not be worrying about such a scenario/crime. I just feel like I'm driving around and visiting places advertising this risk. I may feel inclined to limit travel etc that then affects my freedom etc. 

Do you think such security water marking will deter a thief? 

If someone is a natural worrier as you seem to be, nothing we say will change your mind so perhaps you would be better off selling it and going for something more mundane. However, all cars have cats so all cars are potential targets, it's just that the thieves haven't worked that out yet.

Parking at Asda to do the shopping I always used to park well away from others to avoid trolley dings and such. Now, parking away from others opens up more opportunity for cat theft, so do I stop going to Asda? Of course not. We only have the one car and that does everything from taking us on driving holidays around Poland/Czechia/Slovakia etc., to doing tip runs with bags of rubbish in the back.

We still need our shopping, so now at Asda I just park in 'a space' and whatever will be, will be. When we go to Poland or Czechia or wherever, I certainly won't be worrying about where I've parked the car, I'll be enjoying a beer somewhere.

Worrying about what might happen in the future simply stops you from enjoying the present.

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On 8/2/2021 at 10:38 AM, Linas.P said:

I don't think watermarking or anything else will help, these are animals - if they actually want your cat they don't care. And watermarking is only important if police going to get involved, but they wont! Police will openly tell you to call your insurance and claim, I give 90% chance they will refuse to even attend the crime scene and collect evidence. In UK crime against cars is practically decriminalised now, forget about getting help from police.

Marking won't stop an individual taking a cat, or make the police come to the crime scene.

It allows the police to prove that cats found in raids/customs checks have been stolen rather than legitimately taken from scraped vehicles. If the dealers no longer want to take the risk in trading then the thieves will no longer have demand for their stolen items and will therefore stop.

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I agree and disagree. Cat theft is about risk and currently many Toyota/Lexus hybrids are at far greater risk of being done than many other makes. I don't sit around worrying, but I just wondered if others had considered reducing the risk considerably by changing to a brand where such risk is as good as eliminated. You, Herbie, clearly worry about your trip to Asda so I guess we all have our worries, trivial/subjective or otherwise, to some extent. 

Reading the Lexus blog/mag online shows a fair few who have commented who have been on the receiving end of cat theft, and in some cases, more than once. 

A friend of mine who was blasé recently said to stop worrying and then got his nicked a few weeks later. I guess it's never a concern until it happens to you (bit like how some feel about Covid).

I love my Lexus, and this concern is currently their achilles heel I'd say. I'll see what my up and coming insurance renewal is like first I think. Be interesting to see if the forensic markings affect the stats too. 

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35 minutes ago, ColinBarber said:

Marking won't stop an individual taking a cat, or make the police come to the crime scene.

It allows the police to prove that cats found in raids/customs checks have been stolen rather than legitimately taken from scraped vehicles. If the dealers no longer want to take the risk in trading then the thieves will no longer have demand for their stolen items and will therefore stop.

All that is true, but considering most cats are sold as metal scrap rather than reusable part this negates the benefit of watermark. The only thing it remotely prevents is re-selling them for spares and creating sort of vicious cycle of theft/re-sale... I know in some other countries where this has happened with BMW headlights or mirrors, where part is basically re-sold to same pool of people from whom it was stolen. But that isn't what is happening with cats anyway because they are inherently valuable for their metal, rather than being part for specific car.   

33 minutes ago, MadJam250 said:

Toyota/Lexus hybrids are at far greater risk of being done than many other makes.

It isn't strictly true. Many different makes are affected. I know my colleagues Ford Focus had it ripped as well. What makes Toyota more risky is simple matter that Toyotas are often petrol FWD with 4pot transversally mounted engine (same applies to CT and most hybrid SUVs). Why this matters? Well first of all most of other cars in this segment are diesel nowadays so cats are mostly not fitted to them in the first place. The layout and driving wheels simply makes cat much simpler to access (and steal), being 4 pot makes it so that there is single pipe with single large cat going back, transversal/FWD layout means there is loads of space (no driveshaft) in a way... so it is just more convenient for thieves.

Hybrids are separate reason, for one they are still same transversal/FWD/4pot layout and secondly they simply have cleaner cats which are often as well larger, due to start/stop nature of the engine, but say Honda hybrids would have exactly the same risks as Toyota/Lexus.

For example why Lexus IS250 v6 or hybrid GS450h are not targeted? That is because they have 4 tiny cats on 2 separate pipes and everything very tightly packaged making it impossible to reach two out of 4 and even other 2 squeezed on the sides of driveshaft and gearbox.

In short it is not Toyota/Lexus which are targeted, but any petrol car with transversal/FWD/L4 engine layout, Toyota just happens to be most numerous/popular... whereas German cars are more often diesel. 

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1 hour ago, MadJam250 said:

You, Herbie, clearly worry about your trip to Asda so I guess we all have our worries, trivial/subjective or otherwise, to some extent

No, not at all. I used to be mildly apprehensive about trolley dings and it wasn't any hardship to walk that little bit further if I parked out of the way, but I never 'worried' about it to the extent that I'd think of selling the car.

1 hour ago, MadJam250 said:

A friend of mine who was blasé recently said to stop worrying and then got his nicked a few weeks later. I guess it's never a concern until it happens to you

It's not a concern anyway, that's my whole point.

If the thieves want it, they will take it, no matter how much or how little you worry about it and no matter what make and model of car it is. If my cat gets nicked tonight I'll be more than a bit p****d off but tomorrow morning I'll make an appointment to have a straight pipe welded on or I'll get a cheapo aftermarket cat. The one thing I won't do is lose any sleep over it, or sell the car because of it.

By the way, to be blasé is to be unimpressed with or indifferent to something because one has experienced or seen it so often before. I'm definitely not blasé, just realistic. There is absolutely nothing that can be done to stop the theft of cats. All a catlock does is to slow them down slightly but it won't stop or deter them, so we are left with two choices: 

  1. Don't worry about it, just get on with your life
  2. Sell the car

I love my car and I ain't selling it for anyone or anything, so acceptance is my chosen path.

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16 hours ago, Herbie said:

No, not at all. I used to be mildly apprehensive about trolley dings and it wasn't any hardship to walk that little bit further if I parked out of the way, but I never 'worried' about it to the extent that I'd think of selling the car.

It's not a concern anyway, that's my whole point.

If the thieves want it, they will take it, no matter how much or how little you worry about it and no matter what make and model of car it is. If my cat gets nicked tonight I'll be more than a bit p****d off but tomorrow morning I'll make an appointment to have a straight pipe welded on or I'll get a cheapo aftermarket cat. The one thing I won't do is lose any sleep over it, or sell the car because of it.

By the way, to be blasé is to be unimpressed with or indifferent to something because one has experienced or seen it so often before. I'm definitely not blasé, just realistic. There is absolutely nothing that can be done to stop the theft of cats. All a catlock does is to slow them down slightly but it won't stop or deter them, so we are left with two choices: 

  1. Don't worry about it, just get on with your life
  2. Sell the car

I love my car and I ain't selling it for anyone or anything, so acceptance is my chosen path.

And everyone is different. Doesn’t make one person better or worse than anyone else. To predict how you would feel afterwards had you had your cat stolen is impossible to do now when you believe it is just something that happens to others.

I’m hearing from newspaper and other media reports that there are people out there who have had their cats stolen on more than one occasion. They wait for you to replace it and then turn up to steal it again. I’d reckon that would change most people’s opinion of owning a Lexus/Toyota. Like most things this is something that is out there but is hardly ever a concern until it happens or until insurance premiums start rising because these cars are statistically more likely to have their cars stolen.

You do have a tendency to rubbish other people’s opinions on here though. There are other valid opinions than just your own you know. A lot of your posts do this and a fair percentage are seemingly to put people right as you see it. Like anyone, you cannot be right about everything.

I would not consider doing anything with mine but this might well change if I were to start to hear of similar thefts in my local area or if insurance premiums started going through the roof. And that would be a double whammy because our cars would be worth less when selling. Not worried at the moment but I do think we’re probably at the early stages of this crime curve so it could get much worse.

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27 minutes ago, paulrnx said:

And everyone is different. Doesn’t make one person better or worse than anyone else. To predict how you would feel afterwards had you had your cat stolen is impossible to do now when you believe it is just something that happens to others.

I’m hearing from newspaper and other media reports that there are people out there who have had their cats stolen on more than one occasion. They wait for you to replace it and then turn up to steal it again. I’d reckon that would change most people’s opinion of owning a Lexus/Toyota. Like most things this is something that is out there but is hardly ever a concern until it happens or until insurance premiums start rising because these cars are statistically more likely to have their cars stolen.

You do have a tendency to rubbish other people’s opinions on here though. There are other valid opinions than just your own you know. A lot of your posts do this and a fair percentage are seemingly to put people right as you see it. Like anyone, you cannot be right about everything.

I would not consider doing anything with mine but this might well change if I were to start to hear of similar thefts in my local area or if insurance premiums started going through the roof. And that would be a double whammy because our cars would be worth less when selling. Not worried at the moment but I do think we’re probably at the early stages of this crime curve so it could get much worse.

Well, I am who I am and at 63 years old I'm probably beyond changing, so you can either read or not read my posts, I really don't care one way or the other :thumbsup:

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On 8/2/2021 at 10:38 AM, Linas.P said:

Again - don't be afraid to drive your car, nobody steals cats in the public place in the middle of the day when you go shopping. They steal cats on quiet streets at night/evening/early morning. Sure once in a while the make brazen opportunistic attack, but that is extremely rare - most of the time they try to avoid people wherever possible. 

That's not entirely true. I have read reports - possibly even here - that cats have been stolen while cars have been parked in supermarket or garden centre car parks. There are also videos on YouTube of cats being stolen in daylight on streets.

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8 minutes ago, Mincey said:

That's not entirely true. I have read reports - possibly even here - that cats have been stolen while cars have been parked in supermarket or garden centre car parks. There are also videos on YouTube of cats being stolen in daylight on streets.

That's very true. And quite often the 'lookout' guy has some form of weapon, often a 2ft long machete, so I wouldn't be tangling with him!

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1 minute ago, Herbie said:

That's very true. And quite often the 'lookout' guy has some form of weapon, often a 2ft long machete, so I wouldn't be tangling with him!

Me neither!

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On 8/2/2021 at 10:38 AM, Linas.P said:

Again - don't be afraid to drive your car, nobody steals cats in the public place in the middle of the day when you go shopping. They steal cats on quiet streets at night/evening/early morning. Sure once in a while the make brazen opportunistic attack, but that is extremely rare - most of the time they try to avoid people wherever possible. 

 

5 minutes ago, Mincey said:

That's not entirely true. I have read reports - possibly even here - that cats have been stolen while cars have been parked in supermarket or garden centre car parks. There are also videos on YouTube of cats being stolen in daylight on streets.

They most certainly do!

We have had two CAT thefts from our car park (B&Q) in broad daylight, both were colleagues' car (not Lexus) working here. One has sold his car to go EV the other simply replaced the missing part, which somewhat amusingly wasn't his CAT but a centre resonator! 

It's something I'm aware of but as has been mentioned if the want it they will take it and I'm not living in a constant state of worry.

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29 minutes ago, NemesisUK said:

We have had two CAT thefts from our car park (B&Q) in broad daylight,

That is absurd, they really getting brazen then. So what does B&Q does - surely they have cameras, security? But I guess security does not want to get involved and when they call police, police simply ignores it as they always do. 

As for gardening centres I do understand why they choose that... sadly scum will always choose the path of least resistance and gardening centres being mostly visited by pensioners they know they won't see much of it.  

I have seen video on YouTube for it being done in early mornings, it looks bright as a day, but it may actually be 5-6AM. 

 

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6 minutes ago, Linas.P said:

So what does B&Q does - surely they have cameras, security?

Security only in store and the CCTV did capture one of the thefts but the Police said the reg plate wasn't clear enough to help. 

Onlookers that were questioned believed someone was having a emergency repair done to their car!

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39 minutes ago, Herbie said:

That's very true. And quite often the 'lookout' guy has some form of weapon, often a 2ft long machete, so I wouldn't be tangling with him!

I will add my unpopular opinion here... if UK would be normal country with normal gun laws (not like aumurica) and with true right for self defence, this would not be the case.

How it works in most normal countries. You see somebody committing the crime in daylight, you come out to stop it, you get confronted by the guy with machete or baseball bat, at this point you can shoot him dead (this is completely legal, because he has a weapon) and the crime is over and those scums will never try it again in similar fashion. Maybe it is slightly more complex depending on the country, some require warning shots (but there are exceptions if somebody coming to you with machete).

Other option would be country with actually functioning police i.e. where they come to crime scene quickly, act on the reports, cordon the roads and have "manhunt" based on number plates and description of the car of suspects. Country where one cannot get away from serious and especially brazen crime.

Now fair to say - cat theft is an issue everywhere, in Western Europe, in Eastern Europe, but NOWHERE it is as brazen as in UK. People may disagree, but UK is exception because of non-existent police enforcement combined with population which is not allowed to protect themselves and their property without risk of persecution and generally have all odds stacked against them. 

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17 minutes ago, NemesisUK said:

Security only in store and the CCTV did capture one of the thefts but the Police said the reg plate wasn't clear enough to help. 

Onlookers that were questioned believed someone was having a emergency repair done to their car!

"I think it was emergency repair, they worked like a formula one team - one mechanic lifted the car, another worked on it and third one had a pit-stop sign in his hand... with serrated edges... " 😅

Add people ignorance to my list of points above and we have perfect storm for all sorts of crimes...

To be fair I have seen once clip where scum were acting like mechanics, came with "tyre repair van" and had high-viz, which could give this impression. But again - I would say this should be easy for police to pick them-up if they would ever want to get involved. How many tyre replacement vans are driving on the streets and how far can they go. If police would react to it, they surely could catch them fleeing. 

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12 minutes ago, NemesisUK said:

Security only in store and the CCTV did capture one of the thefts but the Police said the reg plate wasn't clear enough to help. 

Onlookers that were questioned believed someone was having a emergency repair done to their car!

I'll wager that the plate was fake anyway. As the scumbags generally wear overalls, it does give the impression that they are doing a repair. I must admit though that I'd not ask Big Bad Bob's Machete-equipped Emergency Repair Service to go anywhere near my car.

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