THREE people have been arrested for stealing 39 catalytic converters from parked cars in Alicante and Valencia Provinces.

28 units were taken at night in the Alicante city area and a further 11 in Algemesi and Alzira.

Some of the converters have been recovered by the Policia Nacional.

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Catalytic converters contain platinum, rhodium and palladium which are highly valued for black market sales, fetching higher prices than gold.

The thefts became so prolific that the Policia Nacional in Alicante and Alzira pooled resources to bring down the travelling gang.

Three ‘up-market’ models of car were targeted with the trio always striking at night on vehicles parked in the street or in car parks.

Surveillance work recorded the thieves popping up at odd hours in the San Juan beach area of Alicante.

They always drove in the same car and their appearance coincided with converter thefts.

An eye-witness even took photos of them removing a unit from a car at great speed.

The two men and a woman were caught out when an off-duty Alzira Policia Local officer spotted them doing something underneath a car.

He realised they were the same crew wanted in the Alicante area and they were subsequently arrested, with the two men denied bail after a court appearance.

The Policia Nacional says cars should be parked in well-lit areas if a garage cannot be used and owners should ensure the catalytic converter has the vehicle’s VIN number on it which would make black market sales more problematic.


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