THE crime statistics for Surrey show that theft of cars, and of their contents, is slowly increasing.

These thefts include the catalytic converters under your car.

We, the public, are making it just too easy for criminals to steal our cars, the contents, and thecatalytic converters. We are buying cars with keyless entry. We are buying cars that have got unnecessarily wide and so will not go in our garage or down our drive.

We are buying expensive cars and parking them in places that are vulnerable – poorly lit and away from eyes/CCTV.

With a little thought, and little money, you can stop your car being targeted.

If you have a car with keyless entry, then your car WILL be vulnerable. If the key fob has buttons to lock and unlock the door, and you are able to disable the keyless feature, do so. If not, then always store the keys at home away from a door or window and in a ‘faraday pouch’. These pouches stop the signal being picked up outside by a thief with an electronic device and they are readily available to buy; and for little money. Don’t forget to also protect a spare key that is stored away in the house – but still able to transmit a signal.

Additionally, buy a simple steering lock that clamps to the steering wheel. They cost about £50 and are a visible deterrent. A thief will have to use a power tool to drill the lock out and that is noisy and time-consuming and so they are more likely to move on to another car.

The advice on prevention of catalytic converter thefts remains the same as always. Some cars are more vulnerable than others. The most vulnerable are Toyotas and Hondas (particularly the Jazz), and especially if hybrids. Most cars now have the catalyst near the engine and not accessible from under the car, but check with your garage.

See the advice from Surrey Police

You can buy a cheap etching kit that marks the catalyst (making it traceable and so unattractive to scrap metal dealers), and the accompanying stickers on the windows work well as a deterrent.

The final advice is common sense:

1) Don’t leave the car in a vulnerable location.

2) Park it securely on your property, if possible.

3) Always check it is locked as you walk away from it, especially if keyless.

4) Don’t leave anything visible in the car that would attract a thief. Smashing a side window and grabbing a bag on the back seat takes less than 15 seconds.

Remember: Report. Report. Report. If you don’t report it, how do you expect the police to deal with the problem?

Ring 999 if serious, urgent or someone is in immediate danger

Ring 101 if time is not of the essence (or via 101 “Live Chat” on

Or on-line via, if you don’t need to speak to an officer.