THIEVES continue to target vehicles across Dorset and the New Forest to steal thousands of pounds worth of catalytic converters.

Costing up to £800 each to replace, the converters take just minutes to remove from vehicles.

Now police have issued another warning to drivers to help them protect the exhaust emissions devices.

Drivers have been urged to park with their bonnet towards a wall if their converter is at the front of the vehicle and the other way round if it at the back.

If parking in a public car park, try to park close to other vehicles or a wall and avoid parking half on the pavement because it makes it easier for people to get underneath the car.

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A police spokesman added: "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.

"Etch a serial number on the converter so that if it is stolen and then recovered, we can get it back to you. 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."

Anyone who sees someone acting suspiciously is urged to report it, giving as much information as possible such as any vehicle registration numbers.