Six brothers have been jailed for a spree of catalytic converter thefts throughout London, as they sought to profit from the valuable properties encased in a vehicle’s exhaust.Gerard, Martin, Michael, Kevin, Joseph and John McDonagh, all from North London, pleaded guilty at Harrow Crown Court after being found to be responsible for crimes in 18 boroughs.
The McDonagh family have been involved in more than 150 thefts of catalyst converters across the capital since July 2013.Thieves target catalytic converter devices – located in the exhaust system under the vehicle – because they contain precious metals such as platinum, palladium and rhodium. Removal of the device can result in a repair bill amounting to more than £1,000.It’s believed that catalytic converters are bought for more than £100 on the black market, but chief superintendent Michael Gallagher, Brent borough commander, warned that the force “won’t stop” until such offenders are brought to rights. “These convictions represent the MPS’s determination to pursue and dismantle criminal networks and bring them to justice,” he said.
The financial implications of this crime can have a massive impact particularly when your vehicle is essential to your work.
Top tips for keeping your vehicles protected
- Keep your van in a garage or well-lit area when not in use
- Consider marking the catalytic converter with a unique reference to assist with tracing if it is stolen
- If you have more than one vehicle think about how you can park them so that vehicles with high ground clearance are obstructed to make it harder for someone to slide underneath.
If you would like to discuss these tips or could benefit from some independent advice, please get in touch with your HETAS Insurance team via 08455 085 734.