Catalytic converter thieves strike again in Mitchelstown
Those involved in the organised theft of catalytic converters from vehicles, struck again in broad daylight in Mitchelstown last Thursday, cutting the units from three vehicles.
The converters are part of the vehicle's exhaust system, converting pollutant gases into less harmful emissions. They're stolen by criminal gangs for the titanium and other valuable metals they contain. Gardai believe they are being exported.
Two of the vehicles that had the units removed in Mitchelstown last week were crew cabs - that is open bodied - jeeps, parked outside the Aldi Distribution Centre while their owners were at work. The units were cut from the vehicles sometime between 11am and 8pm. Gardai believe it could have happened in the afternoon around the same time as another such incident occurred outside Tesco while the owner of the Kia Sportage was inside for just 15 minutes between 5 and 5.15pm.
Gardai say the thieves are using a hand shears, used in the plumbing industry, to sever the units. They can be quickly removed and owners don't notice until they start up their vehicles and hear the unusual sound. The converters are expensive to replace, costing around €1,000.
A black Audi A3 02D registered car was spotted acting suspiciously in the area at the time. Gardai say it was fitted with false plates.
Warnings have been issued to motorists, especially owners of larger and SUV type vehicles which are easier for the thieves to access the units, to be vigilant when parking in store and public car parks.
Thursday 13th February 5:20pm