West Pittwater Community Association and SIRA are in talks to determine what collective action could be taken about a recent spate of thefts at Church Point car park that has residents concerned about the level of security – or lack thereof – for their vehicles.
Northern Beaches Council is aware of the problem, with NBC saying it has discussed the thefts with the Water Police.
Theft of car parts has been an issue at Church Point for many years but catalytic converters are currently the item most targeted. Police told NBC that thieves are after the rare metals used in the converters, including rhodium. Rhodium costs about $400 a gram these days. Cars manufactured after 1986 are required to have the devices, which convert control noise and emissions.
Older cars are more likely to have a greater concentration of rhodium and other rare metals in their catalytic converters because advances in technology have meant manufacturers can reduce their reliance on these incredibly expensive metals. Catalytic converter theft is an international problem, as recent reports from Melbourne, Perth the UK and US attest.
NBC has said it will consider increased policing as part of its recent decision to conduct a review of parking at Church Point.
A spokeswoman said Council’s Transport Network team is looking at the overall operation of the parking in the Church Point area to explore opportunities where changes may be suggested and this might include CCTV.
Nothing will happen quickly however. A report is due to come back to Council in “probably March/April” outlining the options and the cost to implement.
What residents can and should do immediately, however, is to report thefts to NSW Police on the Police Assistance Line (PAL) 131 444. Motion-sensitive car alarms may also help deter thieves.
Image: Precious metals in catalytic converters make them attractive to thieves