Thieves steal catalytic converter from nurse's car during shift
- Credit: Tracy Bullion
A nurse was left devastated after thieves stole the catalytic converter from her car as she worked a 12-hour shift on New Year’s Day.
Tracy Bullion, 60, had spent the day working in accident and emergency at King George Hospital in Goodmayes.
While driving back home to Noak Hill, she found her Toyota/Lexus hybrid car making a strange noise and struggling to go any quicker than 25mph.
After it was looked at by a mechanic, she was told the catalytic converter had been hacked off with a saw from underneath the engine.
She said: “I felt so shocked and violated in a way because that’s my precious car and, to be honest, my opinion in people has gone down because of it.
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“I spend all day looking after patients, lots of them with Covid, and at the same time some wicked people are robbing me.
“I didn’t realise before but I now know hybrid cars are a target for this sort of thing and the biggest kick in the teeth is the fact it’s going to cost so much to fix.”
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While thieves can expect to make around £50 in scrap value for a catalytic converter, the victims will be left having to shell out close to £1,000 to replace it.
Mrs Bullion, who is having to borrow her daughter’s car to travel to the hospital, reported the theft to the police and is waiting to hear the outcome of their investigation.
“I want to warn other people about this because it’s pretty clear that they were targeting the staff car park at the hospital,” she added.
“I’ve since heard of this sort of thing happening all over the country, so my message to other people – especially anyone who drives a hybrid car – is to beware.
“My main worry is that, even when I manage to get it replaced, what if it happens again and again? It’s a real concern that it will just keep on happening.”
Motorists are advised to park in a garage or with the exhaust side of the car against a fence or wall to make it harder for thieves to steal the catalytic converter from underneath.
Other preventative advice includes asking your garage to weld the bolts to make it harder to remove, etch a serial number on to it or install a cage clamp over the device.