POLICE are offering free catalytic converter marking in response to a spate of thefts.

Earlier this month (December 3 and 4), three vehicles had their catalytic converters stolen in Hutton Rudby, near Stokesley. On the same night, thieves also targeted a vehicle in Kirby Fleetham near Northallerton.

All the vehicles targeted were either vans or Land Rovers. Detective Constable Keith Turner, from Northallerton CID, said: “The vehicles have been targeted because of their high ground clearance. It’s possible that the thieves checked out the area for these types of vehicles prior to committing the crimes.

“Therefore, I am appealing for residents to cast their minds back to the days leading up to the thefts and let us know if they recall any suspicious vehicles, people or activity in their neighbourhoods, as well as anyone who saw anything suspicious on the night of the thefts, particularly in the South Side, East Side and Northfields area of Hutton Rudby.”

On Saturday (December 8), Northallerton Safer Neighbourhood Team will be providing free catalytic converter marking at the Kwik-fit depot on Brompton Road. The marking will be carried out on a first come, first served basis during 10am and 12pm. Priority will be given to previous victims of crime and vulnerable vehicles including Mercedes Sprinter vans and vehicles with high ground clearance.”

Anyone with any information about the thefts is asked to contact North Yorkshire Police on 101, select option 2 and ask for Keith Turner.

Stokesley Police station has also been offering ‘cat security packs' from its police station and recently held a catalytic converter crime prevention surgery, where they fitted tags to the devices and gave out security advice.