Criminal gangs are stealing catalytic converters from vehicles to sell for its platinum content, which can be valued at approximately £100. Previously there was no way of identifying one converter from another, so thieves ran a low risk of being charged, even if caught.
Retainagroup can mark each casing of the catalytic converter, which comprises a logo (the manufacturer’s or Retainagroup’s international security register), a unique seven-digit code and a 24-hour telephone number.
Once the mark has been applied, the unique code is recorded with vehicle and owner details on the register and can be verified immediately at any time. The service is free except for the cost of the call and means that thieves stealing a marked and registered converter will put themselves at risk of being apprehended and charged.
Marking and registration packs will be available from Ford dealerships either as individual customer kits priced at £11.87 or ‘fleet packs’ containing marking material for 30 vehicles, priced at £136.85.
Paul Lambotte, head of unit for the association of chief police officers (ACPO) vehicle crime intelligence service (AVCIS), said: “The theft of catalytic converters has become an increasing problem for vehicle owners.
"This crime disables the vehicle and has an environmental impact. AVCIS welcomes initiatives, such as catalytic converter marking, that enable the identification of stolen goods that are found in criminals’ possession."