A MAN has been arrested after a spate of catalytic converter thefts in the New Forest.

The thefts have been in the Ringwood, Lymington, and New Milton areas.

Hampshire Constabulary says the arrest comes after a series of vehicles were targeted on the evening of Wednesday, April 28 between 10.15pm and 3.55am yesterday (April 29).

A search of a property on Westbury Close in Bransgore by officers located a number of power tools – including a power saw and car keys – which were subsequently seized.

A 21-year-old man from Bransgore has been arrested on six counts of theft from a motor vehicle.

Police say he remains in custody at this time.

Hampshire Constabulary previously issued this security advice for residents:
• Find out where your catalytic converter is located on your car; if it’s at the front of your car, park with the bonnet towards a wall if possible
• If it’s at the back, park it with your exhaust to the wall
• If parking in a public car park, consider parking alongside other cars and incorporating wall
• Avoid parking your vehicle half on the pavement and half on the road, as this may make it easier for get under your car
• If your catalytic converter is bolted on, you can ask for your local garage to weld the bolts to make it more difficult to remove
• Alternatively, you can also etch a serial number on the converter so that if it is stolen and then recovered, we can get your car converter back to you
• You can even purchase a ‘cage clamp’ which is a cage device that locks in around the converter to make it more difficult to remove
• Speak to your dealership or garage about the possibility of adding a tilt sensor that will activate the alarm should any thief try to jack the vehicle up to steal the converter
• If you see someone acting suspiciously under a vehicle, report it. Obtain as much information as possible, including any vehicle registrations.

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