The Golders Green Safer Neighbourhood Team have passed on a couple of warnings:
Uniforms belonging to British Gas have been stolen.
If you are visited at your home address by someone claiming to be from British Gas without an appointment, do not let them in without checking with British Gas first on 0333 202 9802.
Keep your door securely shut, and if you have a door chain put it on.
Be aware of cold callers. If you’re not sure who is at your door, don’t open it. If you believe bogus callers are trying to access your home, call police on 999.
Check the identity of the caller by calling the company they are claiming to be from – i.e. gas, electricity, water or police.
Use the telephone numbers listed in your local directory or provided independently by your service provider or online on their website.
Do not use any telephone numbers provided by the caller – they may be bogus.
We have had numerous reports of thefts of catalytic converters that took place in the last month in Golders Green, Childs Hill and Garden Suburb area.
The main function of a catalytic converter is to clean up the exhaust gases from an engine before they exit the exhaust pipe. It is a small piece/filter that looks like a honeycomb that the thieves are usually after.
Cars that have been targeted include the Honda Jazz and Toyota Prius. The converters in these old models are easier to access. Thieves jack up the car and saw the converter end to end in around 60 seconds.
When stealing a catalytic converter the muffler is disconnected, so your vehicle will sound very loud. Toxic fumes will likely be easy to smell. The vehicle should not be driven without the catalytic converter and instead it should be towed to a repair shop.
- There are anti-theft systems, locks and alarms, which can be purchased online.
- You can mark the metallic shell of your CAT. This may make it easier to be identified as stolen property.
- Consider installing CCTV devices. They are also major deterrent and could cost less than replacing a CAT.
At times, these incidents have happened in broad day light. The best prevention is to raise awareness of the issue in your community, to keep an eye on your road and to immediately report any suspicious activities by calling 999.