You could be fined £1,000 if your catalytic converter is stolen – as mechanics install metal cages to combat thieves – The Sun

UK DRIVERS are being targeted by brazen thieves looking to cash in on valuable car parts.

But Brits are now fighting back against the heartless attacks in a bid to stop them being hit with hefty fines.

Mechanics across the country are now installing wire cages under cars to stop thieves pinching catalytic converters.

In some cases, drivers are having to fork out more than £200 to get them fitted to their car.

The catalytic converter is part of your car's exhaust system, and works to convert the toxic gases your motor produces into less harmful substances to be emitted.

Criminals are targeting the vital part as it contains a number of valuable metals, making it a prized possession for illegal scrap dealers.

Drivers who fall victim to the theft might not even know the part has been stolen as the car can still run without it.

But if you don't have a converter fitted, your car will produce emissions above the permitted standard, making it illegal to drive on the road.

Police can fine £1,000 if the catalytic converter is missing, regardless if you didn't know about it.

One customer was left with a £2,800 bill after his catalytic converter was pinched.

He said: "This is a big problem according to the police, insurance company and the garage that fitted the cage.

"My car insurance excess was £700, hire car £250 and cage fitted £220.

"All in that has cost me £1170.

"Thankfully insurance covered a lot of this, but I’m still down in money."

Recent figures reveal the number of catalytic converter thefts in the UK have increased by 600 per cent in the last year.

London was a hotspot for criminals targeting the valuable part, with almost 3,000 incidents reported to police.

Other regions where it is rife include Kent, Cambridgeshire. Nottinghamshire and West Yorkshire.

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