GMB: Richard says police 'didn't investigate' daughter's car theft
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The masked thieves have now struck the family’s disability car four times in a year, leaving them terrified and feeling they’re being specifically targeted. Each time, the catalytic converter was stripped by the gang, who were caught on camera.
Despite the video footage and the fact they have returned several times, police have told the family they are unable to help more.
The gang of four thieves arrived at the family’s house in an Audi with their faces covered and holding tools.
One of the men can be seen jacking up the Toyota Prius and then the sound of sawing can be heard as the catalytic converter is removed.
Two other men act as lookouts and the whole crime is over within sixty seconds, the Audi driving away at speed with the boot open.
The family said that three of the thefts had happened at their address and another at a relative’s home.
A family member said: “My dad, who is 67, was due to go into hospital on Wednesday to go on a drip as his magnesium levels were low.
“My main concern is that my dad’s health is not good. He has kidney failure and heart failure.
“To have that stress is going to give him pain. He had to cancel his appointment and rearrange it.”
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She added: “This isn’t the first time it’s happened. It’s the fourth time. Our car is clearly being targeted. They know every time we get it repaired that they can come again.
“The first time, it happened at my gran’s house in Slade Road in Erdington. The second time was at Woodlands Farm Road. And the third time they had baseball bats, which was in this road last year.
“They keep coming back for the same thing. The car is a disability car for my dad and for my brother who has cerebral palsy.
“I asked the police: ‘What can we do?’ They said: ‘There’s nothing you can do, other than putting it in a garage’.”
Catalytic converters are prized by thieves for their metals such as platinum, palladium and rhodium. The materials can reportedly be worth more than gold, making a converter worth up to a reported £1,000 in scrap value.
Asked about the thieves, she told Birmingham Live: “They are ****holes. If they want money, they should go to work.
“What hurts me the most is we have to pay the excess when we haven’t done anything wrong.
“I said to dad we should get a security bollard on the drive but it’s not like they are robbing the car. They are taking parts off it. I hate this car.”
A spokesman for West Midlands police said: “We received a report of a catalytic converter theft on Woodlands Farm Road, Erdington around 10.40pm on 17 May. “Three previous reports were also made between February and April 2021, unfortunately on these occasions there were no known suspects, no viable CCTV and no other investigative opportunities available.
“We’ll always look into any viable lines of enquiry and have spoken with the owner of the car, who we will contact if a significant update comes to light.
“We are committed to tackling these thefts, including running intelligence-led operations, as well as ongoing campaigns to help drivers protect their vehicles.
“We encourage car owners to look into security measures, including speaking to their dealership about the possibility of installing a Thatcham approved alarm and tilt sensor that will activate the alarm should any thief try to jack the vehicle up to steal the converter.
“Drivers can also purchase a ‘cage clamp’ which is a cage device that locks in around the converter to make it more difficult to remove or ask a mechanic to use welding techniques to attach the converter more permanently to the undercarriage.
“The car’s vehicle identification number (VIN) can be engraved onto the catalytic converter to make it easier to trace.”
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