Police are warning van owners to be vigilant after a spate of catalytic convertor thefts in the Ribble Valley and other parts of East Lancashire.
There have been eight reported incidents since the beginning of March in Clitheroe, Nelson, Colne, Burnley and Accrington.
In each instance the Mercedes Vitto and Sprinter vans have been targeted overnight. Offenders have unscrewed the device from underneath the vehicle and made off undetected.
PC Vicky Beverley, of Burnley Police, said: “This spate of thefts is hitting the victims hard, leaving them without transport and having to claim on their insurance for the costly replacement of the stolen parts.
“Motorists should be aware that the removal of the catalytic convertor takes a matter of minutes by the offender who knows how to do it and does not create much noise.
“I would urge residents to take precautions such as buying a catalytic converter lock to protect against such thefts. These are inexpensive and come with a registration kit to ensure that the stolen item can be easily traced, deterring potential thieves from committing the crime in the first place. Please remain vigilant reporting anything suspicious to us.
“If anyone has any information about the thefts, please contact Lancashire Police as soon as possible on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
l In a separate incident, police are appealing for information after the theft of two motorbikes and tools in Downham.
A £7,000 orange and black Honda Montesa motorcross bike registered “YJ64 LJF” was stolen from a building in Twiston Lane between 6-30 pm on Tuesday, March 3rd and 5-30 pm on Wednesday, March 4th. Also stolen from the building was a red Snap-On toolbox with tools worth £1,700 and a Sherco trials bike valued at £1,000, which has a black frame and red wheels.