Popular private hire car Toyota Prius continues to be targeted by catalytic converter thieves

Image credit: Twitter-@MPSTowerHam

The Toyota Prius vehicle, a popular choice among private hire drivers up and down the country, continues to be the target of catalytic converter thieves.

Thieves can steal the converters from under a car in a matter of minutes, and will even return to the same vehicle to steal any new one that has been fitted.

Behind the popularity is the value of the metals used. Rhodium and palladium have known to sell for astonishing amounts of money by gangs who target overseas buyers.

According to the Serious Crime Office, the thieves make about £300 to £500 from every converter stolen.

Tower Hamlets Police were able to detain a male who was caught in the act of stealing a converter from a black Toyota Prius parked in the area.

The incident occurred on Tuesday 11 August, when the suspect was spotted by locals lifting the car up with a jack.

Tower Hamlets Police said: "Your @TowerHamletsNow PTF arrested a male after he was spotted trying to steal a catalytic converter from a vehicle in E1.

"Male made off and with the help of a @thameswater engineer he was detained. Also thanks to the LBTH worker who chased the male with us. Teamwork."

A spokesperson for Toyota has said: "Our first priority is to do all we can to support customers who have been victims of this crime and we have taken measures to increase replacement parts supply as quickly as we can."

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