Groups join up to fight car thefts

A NEW wave of auto crime has been sweeping the east coast - but in an effort to curb the thieves, a number of key groups have joined forces to battle back.

A NEW wave of auto crime has been sweeping the east coast - but in an effort to curb the thieves, a number of key groups have joined forces to battle back.

With criminal gangs swooping on vehicles across the country to steal catalytic converters, there has been a rise in thefts given the precious metal content (usually platinum) associated with the equipment.

So to counteract this growing problem, the Ford Motor Company are “working together” with Retainagroup, the car security marking and registration systems specialist, police constabularies across the country and local dealer John Grose to provide a simple yet effective weapon - a catalytic converter marking system.

Feeling the full-force of the problem in Lowestoft and Great Yarmouth, Rodney Goodrum - who owns Economy Hire and Drive and Auto Hire, which is based at Gapton Hall Road in Yarmouth but extends to Lowestoft - had six catalytic converters stolen from a fleet of over 180 vehicles recently.


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Mr Goodrum said: “The loss per vehicle is between £600 and £1,000 - but the converters only fetch around £100 scrap value for just a few minutes' work.

“So we are really pleased that the Ford motor company have taken this on board and are helping to pioneer this catalytic converter marking system. “We feel this will be very beneficial to us,” he added.

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Last Friday at the Whapload Road base in Lowestoft, a Retainagroup team demonstrated the system to Norfolk Constabulary and some of Mr Goodrum's vehicles were given “a unique identity.”

Norfolk Constabulary revealed that recently there had been a spate of 16 thefts of catalytic converters in Great Yarmouth during just one night.

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