Driver fury as car parts are stolen near Kemble station

A RETIRED doctor is urging rail passengers to be careful where they park after crucial car parts were stolen last week.

Andrew Sabourin parked his Mazda MX-5 on a road opposite Kemble station overnight last week while on a trip to London.

He returned the next day to find that his catalytic converter had been stolen from his convertible car.

As a result, Mr Sabourin was unable to use his vehicle for three days as he took it to the garage, costing him £775 to replace the stolen parts.

Even allowing for excess insurance, there’s still £450 out of pocket.

Mr. Sabourin now hopes that other residents will remain vigilant about where they leave their cars.

He said: “It’s really upsetting. I’ve been hacked enough.

“I couldn’t use the car anymore once the catalytic converter was removed.

“Perhaps it would have been safer if the car was in the station car park rather than in a street across the street.

“My message is that people don’t park in an unlit area and leave their vehicle overnight.

“It’s like the Lottery, it could happen to you.”

The incident comes as a warning to police of thefts that have been reported in recent weeks in car parks in Gloucester, Cheltenham, Stroud and Tewkesbury.

Offenders specifically target areas with parking lots such as shopping malls, supermarkets, hospitals, train stations and industrial areas.

Vehicles have been targeted at all times of the day, primarily during daylight hours, when catalytic converters can be removed within minutes.

Police have advised on protective measures drivers can consider to help reduce the risk to their vehicles.

This includes the following:

1) Park vehicles near walls, fences, sidewalks and garages with the exhaust closest to them, making it more difficult to access the underside of the vehicle.

2) As far as possible park your car in a closed garage.

3) Avoid parking your car partially on the curb and if using parking, consider parking between other parked vehicles.

4) Consider CCTV, security lights and alarms where possible.

5) Consider purchasing widely available catalytic converter covers or collars that provide protection.

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