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Thieves are ‘injured’ when they get expensive metals from auto parts

A NEIGHBORHOOD watch has warned that recent catalyst thefts from cars were carried out by “armed and ready-to-serve” men.

Over the past few weeks there has been a marked spike in thefts, according to the groups, several of which were carried out overnight, with thieves targeting a few locations three or four times a night.

Catalyst theft can be lucrative for criminals – the precious metals in the devices sell for hundreds of pounds.

And the local Breightmet Blackshaw Neighborhood Watch received multiple reports from its residents – including a woman who spotted a group of armed men via CCTV.

Chris Abalain, the group coordinator, said, “A few weeks ago it seemed to be increasing and we got reports of two or three incidents a night.

“Local residents need to be aware of the people out there who are stealing these things and make sure their car is as safe as possible – be it through extra security measures, parking in a lighted area, or the like.

“I had a woman who said she caught men with baseball bats on camera when they stole one of them.

“These men are armed and ready to do something about it if someone tries to stop them – it really is organized crime.

“You are ready to hurt people in order to get what they want. She was afraid that they would come back. ”

Greater Manchester Police, in collaboration with the UK Transport Police, recently participated in a national week of action to tackle a rising trend in converter theft.

Police said this was an “increasingly worrying problem” in the Greater Manchester area after a significant increase in thefts since the beginning of the year.

District Councilor Beverley Fletcher said the thefts demonstrated the need to invest in the police and that caution was a sad indictment for “the world we live in”.

She said, “It’s so easy to steal things now – you let thieves come and steal them in five minutes. It is sad that you have to go this far to prevent people from robbing you.

“If the police report it, they will step up the patrol for a few days, but the criminals know this and will just come back,” she added.

“The root of all of this is police funding and how much more is needed. It is all due to a lack of investment in the police, and it is a national problem.

“I would say that people need to take more security measures and park their car where it is harder for them to get to. Unfortunately, this is the world we live in right now, but you have to do these things. ”

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