Concern after parked cars are targeted by thieves

February 26 2020

RESIDENTS have expressed their concerns after a spate of thefts from cars have been reported in our area.
 Writing on the Westbury-on-Trym Facebook page, one resident said: “A gentleman came into my place of work at 4.30pm yesterday, in a bit of a panic. He had parked his car in the Westbury Court road car park to attend a funeral and had returned to find his catalytic convertor had been stolen. Poor man, had two elderly people with him and isn’t from Bristol. Assisted all I could but be warned. The parking attendant goes home at 4pm so it must have happened after he left.”
 Other residents added: “Someone parked their Toyota Prius up by the The Downs back in November and they also had the catalytic converter stolen, apparently they contain precious metals (one being platinum)”, “Someone else just posted on another group about an attempted theft of one on Fraley Rd” and “Happened again at Southmead Hospital in a car park there I believe today”.
 Robert Cole, PCSO for Henleaze and Westbury-on-Trym, wrote on the page to say that the thefts are a beat priority at the moment.
He told the Voice: “We have recently gone through a spate of theft from motor vehicles across Westbury-on-Trym and Stoke Bishop where opportunists have been attempting door handles. Those which are unlocked are being targeted and items inside are being stolen, however there doesn’t appear to be a trend, items being stolen have ranged from loose change and phone chargers to catalytic converters.
 “Specifically, since November 2019 there have been six reports of thefts of catalytic converters across both Westbury-on-Trym and Stoke Bishop and on more than one occasion Toyota Prius’ have been targeted.
“The Neighbourhood Police Teams are carrying out Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) technology and house to house enquiries along with increased patrols at target areas and are in the process of engaging with victims. We always get asked on patrols what the police are doing about such thefts but it appears that not all incidents are being reported. By reporting incidents we are able to build a bigger picture and disrupt those responsible.”
 PCSO Cole has also told The Voice that the police are using residents who have been a victim of crime to report this on 101, or 999 if a crime is being witnessed in progress.