Repair bills of up to £1,100 after valuable car parts stolen in Sidmouth and Exmouth
PUBLISHED: 06:30 17 March 2017 | UPDATED: 14:53 17 March 2017
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Police are urging car owners to be vigilant after catalytic converters were stolen from nine vehicles in Sidmouth and Exmouth over the weekend.
Thieves targeted people carriers and used a tool such as a pipe cutter to remove converters and exhaust filters worth ‘thousands of pounds’ in total.
Goronwy Thom’s Ford Galaxy was parked in Alexandria Road when the thieves struck on Sunday night (March 12).
“I sounded like a boy racer driving around,” he said. “I thought my exhaust had gone, but the mechanic said I’d been a victim of a crime.
“I’d just been up in Leeds and Manchester so assumed it must have happened there. I couldn’t believe it had happened in Sidmouth.”
Mr Thom is facing a £200 repair bill, but other motorists have had quotes of up to £1,100.
Two other Ford Galaxy vehicles in Sidmouth’s Alexandria Road and Winslade Road had their catalytic converters stolen.
The same vehicle model was targeted in Exmouth’s Salterton Road, Phear Avenue, Phillips Avenue and Withycombe Road, and parts were also taken from a Seat Alhambra in Ashleigh Road, Exmouth, and a Volkswagen Sharan in Partridge Road, Exmouth.
The thefts occurred sometime between Friday, March 10, and Monday, March 13.
Police are appealing for information from anyone who saw or heard anything suspicious around any of the targeted vehicles at the time of the offences.
Officers are also keen to hear from anyone – particularly scrap metal merchants – who has been offered second-hand catalytic converters for sale in the area.
A police spokesman said: “Catalytic converters are often a target for thieves, who then attempt to sell these high-value materials to scrap metal merchants.
“We would ask owners of such vehicles to remain vigilant and to be aware of the thefts, and for the public to report any suspicious activity to us.”
Anyone with information is asked to email police via firstname.lastname@example.org or call 101 and quote crime reference CR/018498/17.
Information can be passed anonymously to Crimestoppers via 0800 555111 or www.crimestoppers-org.uk.