THREE brazen thieves stole a £400 catalytic converter in a gutsy daylight robbery that took only 60 seconds.
In just one minute, brothers Anthony and Thomas McDonagh and accomplice Gerard McInerney casually removed the expensive catalytic converter – only to be caught on CCTV.
The CCTV footage from September 24 last year shows one of the gang casually leaning against the getaway car while the accomplice saws the converter off the car.
The three crooks then drove off, with the false number plate dangling off the back of the car.
Derbyshire Police posted the clip as a warning to motorists to be on their guard against gangs of catalytic converter thieves.
A force spokesperson said: “The clip shows the three brazen thieves stealing a catalytic converter in broad daylight.
“The men spot their target car and pull up next to it, so they can take a closer look.
“One of the men carries a jack to the side of the target car, while the other two keep watch.
“Despite there being people up the road, the thieves are undeterred and use a saw next.”
What are catalytic converters – and why do people want them?
A catalytic converter is a device fitted to the exhaust of cars, to reduce the harmful gases released from the engine.
Catalytic converters change harmful gases – like carbon monoxide, nitrous oxide, and hydrocarbons – into less harmful ones. These gases can be poisonous in large quantities and are bad for the environment.
Theft of catalytic converters, which are fitted to all cars to clean up emissions, is motivated by the precious metal they contain.
Catalytic converters contain two valuable metals, rhodium and palladium, which increased in value during 2020 and is currently at its highest value in ten years.
Hybrid cars are particularly vulnerable because their converters are cleaner, which means the metals inside them are less likely to corrode.
In the last year, more than 180 catalytic converters have been stolen across Derbyshire – the cost of which to replace is nearly £200,000.
The thieves were caught following a dramatic high-speed police chase, which ended when they crashed their blue Mazda getaway car into Spider Island in Derby.
Thomas McDonagh, 32, of Coventry, admitted conspiring to steal catalytic converters from motor vehicles and dangerous driving.
He was jailed for 23 months and disqualified from driving for 22 months.
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His brother Anthony, 30, also of Coventry, admitted conspiring to steal catalytic converters from motor vehicles and criminal damage and was jailed for 17 months.
McInerney, 23, of Coventry, admitted conspiring to steal catalytic converters from motor vehicles.
He was handed an eight-month jail sentence, suspended for two years and ordered to 80 hours unpaid work.