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Moment brazen thieves removed motorist’s catalytic converter as he watched

<p>Three brazen thieves removed a motorist’s catalytic converter as he watched, banging on the window to try and scare them off.</p><p>But instead of fleeing one of the masked trio just waved what looks like a baseball bat at him as his pal continue their theft.</p><p>The gang are then seen taking the car piece and their jack away before sauntering into their car and driving off.</p><p>The video shows one man under the car while two men keep watch. Each man is well covered making them hard to identify.</p><p>After seeing the thieves removing the car part from his Toyota Prius, the owner knocks on a window from inside his house, but the group doesn’t stop.</p><p>Instead, one swings a baseball bat in the air as a threatening warning to the owner to keep his distance. </p><p>The robbery occurred around 10:30pm on Thursday on a driveway in Dartford. </p><p>The owner of the car, Carle De Vries, was shocked by the blatancy of the crime.</p><p>He said: “I cannot believe how brazen they were. I was banging on the window and that still did not deter them.”</p><p>He posted the video to Facebook hoping to warn others.</p><p>Catalytic converter thefts have seen a surge in recent years with thieves often targeting hybrid cars which contain a higher concentration of the precious metal palladium.</p><p>It is a shiny white metal in the same group as platinum. The metal has increased in value in recent years, causing the car part to become more susceptible to thievery.</p><p>Currently palladium is worth around £1500 per ounce. While there is only a small amount of this metal in converters, criminals are still able to sell the part for around £200.</p><p>The car part converts harmful pollutants into water vapour, making cars more eco-friendly.</p><p>They are also easy to access, making it a speedy job for thieves.</p><p>Days prior to this crime, Mr De Vries also recorded two men attempting to steal his motorcycle from his driveway, but they were unsuccessful.</p><p>Mr De Vries is now having an after-market catalytic converter placed on his car which will then be locked behind a catalytic converter protector.</p><p>The RAC advises owners to boost home security, choose where to park carefully and add a lock, guard or alarm to their car. They also suggest adding a serial number to the car part to improve the chances of getting it back.</p><p>The police have been made aware of the crime and have been asked for further information</p>


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