RESIDENTS have been warned after a recent spate of catalytic converter thefts.

Officers in the New Forest are telling residents to be vigilant after a number of catalytic converters were stolen from vehicles in the last few weeks.

Incidents have occurred in Ringwood, New Milton and Lymington wand officers have claimed that thefts of this time are linked to the price of Rhodium and Palladium, both found in the converters.

The prices of these metals are said to have increased since 2020 and this is believed to have contributed to the number of thefts of this type recently.

The converters can be stolen within a few minutes with basic tools and now police have put together a list of ways to protect from this type of crime:

• If the converter is at the front of the vehicle, park with the bonnet towards a wall if possible and park it with the exhaust to the wall if it is at the back.

• If parking in a public car park, consider parking alongside other cars and walls.

• Avoid parking vehicles half on the pavement and half on the road.

• If the converter is bolted on, ask a garage to weld the bolts to make it more difficult to remove.

A police spokesperson said: "Our local neighbourhood policing teams in the New Forest are continuing to monitor reports and would like to ask local residents to report any suspicious activity to us directly by calling 101, or by reporting it to us via our online reporting tool on the Hampshire Constabulary website."