POLICE are urging owners of a particular model of car to be on their guard after a number of incidents in which catalytic converters were stolen.
In the last fortnight, there have been eight thefts from Ford Ranger 4x4 pick-ups.
Durham Police believe the thieves are targeting the vehicles and the converters due to their high scrap metal value.
Almost all have taken place overnight while the vehicles have been parked on a road or driveway, with the most recent report from Seaham and others reoprted in parts of east Durham.
Sergeant Tony Forster, who leads one of the force’s specialist metal theft teams, said: “There is of course a cost implication, as catalytic converters cost several hundred pounds to replace.
“We are making regular visits to yards and asking owners to report any instances of someone bringing in these items.
“In the meantime, we would urge anyone who owns one of these vehicles to keep it stored in a garage if possible, and to call us if they think their vehicle has been tampered with.”
The metal theft teams can be contacted using the new 101 non-emergency number and anyone with information about a crime involving stolen metal can also contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.