RESIDENTS have been warned following a spate of catalytic converter thefts in Southampton.

Officers are telling residents to be vigilant after three catalytic converters were stolen from vehicles over the weekend.

On Saturday, it was reported that a catalytic converter had been stolen from a vehicle on Lytham Road.

This is said to have taken place between 7pm on Friday and 10:30am on Saturday.

A second catalytic converter was then taken from a vehicle on Capon Close between 10.30pm on Friday and 5pm on Saturday.

A third report was then made on Sunday of a converter being stolen from another vehicle on Lytham Road between 11pm on Friday and 10am on Sunday.

A Hampshire police spokesperson said: "Catalytic converter theft is closely linked to prices of Rhodium and Palladium which are contained within the converters.

"The prices of these metals increased during 2020 and this is what we believe has contributed to the number of thefts increasing.

"We are seeing that cat converters on hybrid Hondas and Toyotas are particularly vulnerable because their converters are cleaner and therefore the valuable metals contained within them are less likely to corrode. They are also easier to access on hybrid vehicles."

Anyone who has had a converter stolen is being asked to report this online and include any markings so police can identify the device if it’s recovered.

Police are now monitoring reports and are asking people to report any suspicious activity.

Anyone with information about the incidents is asked to call 101, quoting reference 44210177899, 44210177353 and 44210176795.