A large quantity of catalytic converters have been recovered across the country after Sussex Police developed intelligence about a suspicious vehicle.

Sussex Police officers in the Special Enforcement Unit developed the intelligence after the vehicle was seen in suspicious circumstances in Billingshurst on 4 February which resulted in information being passed to another force

Hertfordshire Constabulary officers stopped a vehicle on Redbourn Road in St Albans at 10.05am on Thursday, 18 February.

The car was searched and suspected stolen property, 15 catalytic converters, were found.

Officers in Nottinghamshire carried out a search at the driver’s home where further suspected stolen vehicle parts were recovered.

A man, aged 47, was arrested at the scene on suspicion of handling stolen goods.

A second man, aged 19, was also arrested on suspicion of handling stolen goods.

Hertfordshire Constabulary is leading the investigation and enquiries continue. 

Inspector Jonny Hartley from Sussex Police’s Special Enforcement Unit said: “This is some great work by our Special Enforcement Unit where the actions of officers led to arrests and searches in other parts of the UK.

“We are committed to targeting criminals using the road network to prevent and disrupt crime.

“This also demonstrates the importance of reporting and taking action on any suspicious activity. If you have concerns about a vehicle in your area, then we want to know about it.

“Catalytic converter theft can have a serious financial impact on victims and we are taking targeted action against thieves.

“There are a number of measures people can take to deter thieves, including parking in a secure or well-lit area and considering locks or guards.

“We also encourage people to continue reporting any thefts to us, so we can build a picture of the crimes and respond effectively.”

Anyone with information regarding suspicious activity, including relevant CCTV, doorbell or dash cam footage, is asked to contact police. This can be done either online or by calling 101. Always dial 999 in an emergency.