Appeal launched after parts sawn off NHS workers' cars

A still from a YouTube video showing an apparent theft of a catalytic converter from a Honda

A still from a YouTube video showing an apparent theft of a catalytic converter from a Honda. Pictured inset is PC Vicky Bailey of Norfolk Constabulary - Credit: YouTube/Norfolk Constabulary

Cops are appealing for witnesses after thieves have started targeting cars parked by hospital staff in the city. 

Catalytic converters were sawn off and stolen from three Honda Jazz cars parked in the University of East Anglia's Triangle Car Park - located off Colney Lane - on Tuesday, April 12.

The car park is used by NHS staff at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (NNUH) with some returning from gruelling shifts to see their cars had been damaged. 

Hospital worker James Lynskey, 50, was among those who have had to pick up the cost after his blue Honda Jazz had its catalytic converter nabbed.

Police have urged anyone with any information on the thefts to come forward. 

Catalytic converters found in a shipping container in Lincolnshire

Stolen catalytic converters found in a shipping container - Credit: Environment Agency

Officers have received one report from Mr Lynskey, but the hospital worker said he saw others had also been affected including a nurse who returned from a 12 hour shift to discover the damage.

A spokeswoman for Norfolk Police said: "Police have received a report of a catalytic converter theft from a vehicle in Norwich earlier this month.

"At some point on Tuesday, April 12 between 7.30am and 5.15pm, offenders removed a catalytic converter from a blue Honda Jazz parked in the playing field car park off Colney Lane." 

David Powles writes about his weekend at the N&N.

The Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital - Credit: Nick Butcher

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An extraordinary rise in the price of the precious metals contained within catalytic converters means they have become a valuable commodity for thieves.

There were 394 catalytic converter thefts in Norfolk in 2020, more than a threefold increase on the previous 12 months.

In one incident two cars were targeted while parked in the Costessey Park and Ride in February 2020.

Then in November 2021, there was a spate of six thefts in three days with two Toyotas and a Honda targeted in Norwich.

PC Vicky Bailey, of Norfolk Constabulary said: “The premium metals contained within catalytic converters can be of particular value to thieves. 

PC Vicky Bailey

PC Vicky Bailey. - Credit: Norfolk Constabulary

"We would urge people to get in touch if they have any information.”

Anyone with any information or who may have seen any suspicious activity in this area at the time stated, is asked to contact Norfolk Police on 101 quoting Op Solve and crime reference number 36/28507/22.