POLICE are asking van drivers to be vigilant after a spate of catalytic converter thefts.
Over the last week, 10 vans have been targeted after they’ve been parked up overnight in locations in South Tyneside, Newcastle and Gateshead.
Police are advising drivers to be vigilant and to consider having a lock fitted on the device to protect them from thieves.
Officers are also asking motorists to keep an eye out for any suspicious behaviour around a vehicle and to report it straightaway to police.
Detective Constable Dave Johnson said: “We’re also asking vehicle owners to obstruct access to the underneath of their vehicles, making it harder for thieves.
“We suggest parking where possible against a kerb, with the catalytic converter being closest to the kerb.
“With a fleet of vehicles it’s possible to block the high-clearance vehicles with low clearance vehicles.
“As a further measure, have your catalytic converter etched or forensically marked, and place stickers in the windscreen to say it has been done.
“Police would also like to hear from anyone who has been offered a cheap catalytic converter for sale to make contact.”
Anyone with information about vehicle crime is asked to contact Northumbria Police on the 101 non-emergency number, or call Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.