Catalytic converter thefts and Distraction Burglaries

CATALYTIC CONVERTERS

We have been notified by the Police that the theft of catalytic converters is on the rise across the force area, and our area is being affected.

High riding vehicles, such as 4×4’s are usually targeted because it is easier to slide underneath to cut out the catalytic converter by battery powered saw.  Currently thefts from Hondas and Toyota vehicles are favoured.

Please can you utilise social media to make people aware of this, shown below is a picture of a catalytic converter on the off chance you or members of the community have not previously seen them.

Manufacturers can add a cage around the cat converters at a cost, it’s worth passing out this information so out residents can make informed choices re their vehicle security.

Recent offences have happened during the day in retail car parks, offenders may dress as mechanics so the public will not give them a second glance.  The theft can be carried out in less than a minute.

If you see anything suspicious please report it to Police by 999, taking note of the number of any vehicle being used.

Information from Kevin Manship, Eastern Counties Police.

Distraction Burgleries

Two men jailed for distraction burglaries in Stamford and Bourne and nearby villages of Toft and Collyweston

Two distraction thieves who went on a day-long crime spree targeting victims in and around Stamford have been jailed.

Costel Copalea and his accomplice Marius Stanescu carried out distraction thefts in Stamford, Collyweston, Toft, and Bourne, as well as Cambridge, Corby and Sleaford.

Andrew Howarth, prosecuting, told Lincoln Crown Court: “This was a persistent campaign by both defendants to carry out distraction thefts principally in order to steal mobile phones from both adults and children.

Mr Howarth said that Copalea and Stanescu turned up at the Collyweston Slater pub in Collyweston near Stamford.

Mr Howarth said: “They were seen on CCTV attempting to distract the bar staff. Copalea was looking behind the bar as staff moved away.”

Nothing was stolen and a further attempt at a distraction theft was made at the village shop.

The two men then went into Stamford where they targeted the Welland School of Dancing while lessons were being held in the building.

They were let in after persistently buzzing the entry bell and once inside Stanescu went into the girls’ changing rooms where he was caught going through bags.

He was seen with an i-Phone but it was grabbed from him by a parent and the two left the building. Other incidents took place at the George Hotel and at a beauty salon in the town.

The court was told that Copalea had past convictions across Europe for dishonesty offences including in Italy, Belgium, Germany and France. Stanescu had previous convictions in Spain and Italy.

Costel Copalea, 20, and Marius Stanescu, 21, both of Manford Way, Chigwell, Essex, each admitted a charge of conspiracy to steal as a result of the incidents on July 15. Copalea also asked for two offences of distraction theft committed on 9 July to be taken into consideration.

They were each jailed for 32 months and are likely to face deportation. The Rover 75 car they used during the offences was confiscated.

Source Stamford Mercury.

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