Wiltshire Police is warning drivers to be vigilant following a spate of catalytic converter thefts across the county.

Since the end of March police have received six separate reports of people having their catalytic converters stolen from their vehicles while they were parked overnight outside their homes.

There was one report in Marlborough, one in Pewsey, two in Collingbourne Kingston, one in Collingbourne Ducis and one in Ludgershall.

PCSO Pippa Brewer said: “It appears that all these incidents were linked and we are dealing with either one suspect or a group of suspects who are targeting vehicles in this part of Wiltshire.

“We know that this type of crime is hugely frustrating and inconvenient for victims, as well as the financial loss that they are likely to endure.

“While we are carrying out enquiries to identify the person or people responsible, we’re also hoping that the following crime prevention advice might also help stop others falling victim to this sort of theft.”

Police tips to protect your car

•            Park your car in a locked garage where possible, but if this isn’t an option, then park it in a well-lit and well-populated area

•            Park close to fences, walls or a kerb with the exhaust being closest to the fence, wall or kerb to make the theft more difficult

•            Avoid parking your vehicle half on the pavement and half on the road, as this may make it easier for thieves to access the catalytic converter

•            If parking in a public car park, consider parking alongside other cars and facing your bonnet towards the wall if possible. With the catalytic converter positioned at the front of your vehicle, this will make it harder for thieves to get close enough to steal it

•            If there is a fleet of vehicles, park the low clearance vehicles to block the high clearance vehicles. This will obstruct access underneath

•            If your catalytic converter is bolted on, you can ask for your local garage to weld the bolts to make it more difficult to remove.

•            Alternatively, you can also etch a serial number on the converter

•            You can even purchase a ‘cage clamp’ which is a cage device that locks in around the converter to make it more difficult to remove.

Officers would also encourage anybody who witnesses any suspicious activity that could be linked to catalytic converter theft to report this to the police.

You should note as much information as possible, including any vehicle details or registration plates, and call police on 101 or 999 if a crime is in progress.