Data recording crimes against cars seems to suggest there's a new type of attack on our rolling armchairs underway, with criminals now sawing off lumps of exhaust pipe to sell on for scrap.
Key to the thefts is the inclusion of semi-precious metals platinum and palladium in most catalytic converters, which can earn people in tracksuits the big money should they turn up at an unscrupulous scrapyard with dirty hands and a car boot load of salvaged exhaust units to sell.
The Times is leading the current awareness-raise of this issue, as it asked the UK's police forces for data on how many cat thefts they recorded in 2017. They came up with a total of 637, and this didn't include data from the biggest force of London's Met Police, which said it didn't have such data as it only started separately counting and recording them in July of 2018.
The Met later told the BBC it recorded 900 such thefts from cars in the period from July of 2018 to now-ish, so that's 1,537 cat-sawn-off car pipe thefts in recent-ish history; either a lot or not very many, depending on your standpoint. [BBC]