With the push to see more and more road users drive electric powered vehicles, charging facilities are rapidly popping up in most cities around the UK. But with the price of precious scrap metal high, the charging cables for such devices are becoming the latest target for thieves.
Mark Hall, the spokesperson for rubbish removal company Divert, has said: “Car chargers are particularly appealing to thieves because they can be sold for up to £200 and they are selling them everywhere, eBay, Facebook, and to dodgy scrap dealers.
”And they can be pretty costly and inconvenient for you to replace, so it’s best to keep it locked away from the crooks.”
Drivers are being warned that if leaving the cables exposed to thieves while charging, they are at risk of being stolen. Such cables can be found on roadside chargepoints, wallboxes and those plugged directly into a mains plug for some home users.
Hall added: “With more people going green and choosing electric cars over petrol and diesel, there are more charging cables available for thieves to target.”
The rubbish removal company pointed out that although some vehicles are built to lock the chargepoint in place during charging, these measures are not always fool-proof, with reports of some charges not locking properly into vehicles, namely Tesla, during cold weather.
Hall said: “This just goes to show that even the top-of-the-range models are still having teething problems with chargers, leaving them vulnerable to being stolen.”
Vehicles themselves are currently being targeted by scrap metal thieves, who are stealing the car‘s catalytic converter to sell the precious metal inside.
Catalytic converters were introduced to reduce carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxides in the exhaust gas. Hybrid cars are a favourite target for such criminals, especially the Toyota Prius model, which is popular amongst private hire and taxi drivers around the UK.
Hall has offered some advice for those using electric charging cables: “The simplest solution is to padlock the cable to your vehicle while charging it at home or out and about, similarly to how you would secure a bike with a bike lock.
”You should try and keep the charger locked when it‘s not in use too, or even better would be to bring it inside and hide it in your garage.”
For those charging from home, Hall has advised: “Most charging cables available for public use are tethered to try and prevent people from making off with them, and you can purchase similar devices to be used at home. Because if it’s not bolted down or locked away - someone will try and pinch it.”