VAN drivers are being warned that thieves are targeting vehicles for catalytic converters after more than a dozen were stolen this summer.

Cleveland Police said since August 1 there have been 13 instances where they were stolen from vehicles, in 11 of these cases vans were targeted. In total nine vehicles were targeted in Middlesbrough, three in Stockton and one in Loftus.

The latest theft was at Middlesbrough’s Riverside Park Industrial Estate between 6pm on Sunday September 8 and 7am the following day.

A force spokeswoman said: "Catalytic converters are stolen for their scrap value or to keep older cars on the road as they’re expensive to replace.

"Van owners are advised to try and park their vehicle in a secure garage wherever possible. Other advice to deter thieves includes consider installing private CCTV and park in a well-lit area to potentially deter opportunist thieves.

  • Anyone with information about thefts of catalytic converters is asked to contact Cleveland Police on the non-emergency number 101. You can also contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or