Thieves target cars parked in Exmouth streets
PUBLISHED: 06:30 17 March 2017 | UPDATED: 09:19 17 March 2017
Thieves left car owners in Exmouth feeling 'frustrated' and 'unsafe' after causing thousands of pounds worth of damage by targeting their vehicles' catalytic converters.
As residents set out to go to work at the start of the week, they were horrified to find their cars’ emission control devices had been cut out, sometime between Friday, March 10, and Monday, March 13.
Repairs are estimated to cost up to £1,100 per vehicle.
In total, six people carriers in Exmouth, along with three in Sidmouth, were all targeted as they were parked on residential streets and driveways.
Police said the seven Ford Galaxy cars, one Volkswagen Sharan and a Seat Alhambra were targeted in Exmouth in Salterton Road; Phear Avenue; Ashleigh Road; Withycombe Road; Philips Avenue and Partridge Road; and in Sidmouth in Alexandria Road and Windslade Road.
One of the victims, who asked not to be identified, said: “It makes you feel unsafe. It is a very horrible feeling that someone had been on my driveway when my kids were in bed.
“It is extremely frustrating, a big cost to a car owner. It is expensive and I can’t afford it at the moment.
“It makes my life more complicated. Because so many were stolen it’s hard to get it replaced.”
A spokesperson for Devon and Cornwall Police said: “Thieves are deliberately targeting these converters and the costs go into thousands of pounds.
“We are warning drivers of these types of vehicles to be aware that these thefts are being carried out in the area.
“If anybody heard or saw anything in relation to the offences, please contact us.”
Motoring organisation AA says that catalytic converters are being targeted because of the high value of the precious metals they contain.
Anyone with information is asked to call police on 101 quoting CR/18498/17.