Catalytic converter thefts ‘skyrocket’ 

2021 has seen the ‘new fad’ for stealing catalytic converters from petrol cars – often in broad daylight – skyrocket in Portugal. Incidents have been flagged throughout the country, with police registering around 4,447 incidents per month. In Aljezur last weekend a small garage discovered four of the cars parked outside had had their converters removed. The reason is that old petrol cars – particularly Honda, Opel and VW – have metals (rhodium and palladium) that are now ‘more precious than gold’. Advice for anyone with an old petrol car is park it in an area where people are generally around, and likely to notice if someone gets underneath and starts working furtively with a reciprocating saw. The bad news is these converters can be stolen in a matter of minutes – and replacing them will cost upwards of €1,000.