By Connie Osborne Thursday 18 October 2012 Updated: 18/10 23:44
CAR PARTS have become the latest target of metal thieves across the borough.
There has been a rise in the number of catalytic converters being removed from vehicles with 12 having been stolen during August and September in Redditch alone.
A Headless Cross couple were among the latest victims after the part was cut out of their Ford Ranger, which was parked on the drive of their Stableford Close home, between 8pm on Sunday (October 14) and 10am the following morning.
They only realised it had been stolen after trying to start the car in the morning.
The resident, who did not want to be named, said: "My husband got in the car and went to start it, but it was just making this awful noise and didn't seem right. After getting out to have a look he then noticed it had gone.
"I just couldn't believe it. The car was parked on our drive, it wasn't like it was left on the road. And all the houses on the close face towards ours, so you'd think someone would have seen.
"We didn't hear a thing or even notice straight away, so I just want people to be aware that thefts like this can happen."
The converter, which is worth around £500, can go for as much as £400 as scrap metal.
A police spokesman said the ranger type of car was the most targeted by thieves, followed by minibuses, transit vans and motor homes.
He added as they were a lot higher off the ground than the average car it was easier for people to get underneath and remove parts, and suggested marking the converter with a forensic coding solution, so if it was stolen police could track and recover the item along with identifying who stole it.
The spokesman added parking the vehicle in a secured garage and using good lighting would also help prevent thefts.
Anyone with any information about the theft in Headless Cross should contact Redditch Police by calling 101, using the reference number 150-5-151012.
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