The most common things in cars that are stolen? Radios, Sat Navs, the contents of your boot? Think again, as catalytic converters are very much trending in the world of car thievery and general skullduggery.
There were 2,300 catalytic converters stolen in the south and east of England, a four fold increase over the 1,100 converters that were stolen across Britain during the whole of last year. The police want to get to the bottom of who's responsible for taking these cats – most drivers wouldn't know one if they saw one, let alone know what to do with it, so it presupposes that these crafty cat burglars have their ways, and possess a certain amount of knowledge as to what to do with a cat.
These devices, which convert toxic substances produced by the engine into harmless ones, are being targeted because of their value as scrap, with scrap metal prices on the rise.
As a result, the police are trying to work with manufacturers to see what can be done. Perhaps make them out of another material, that's not metal?
But at the moment, these converters are hot property, though the agony of having your catalytic converter stolen and the extra expense, damage and disruption it would cause is probably disproportionate to the amount a scrap dealer gives for one of these devices.