Thieves targeted two Mercedes Sprinter vans by breaking into the vehicles and releasing the bonnet catch before unbolting and removing the exhaust and catalytic converters costing the owners £2,000. Police believe it could be a trend after similar incidents were reported elsewhere. Crime reduction adviser Peter Caulfield said that there are several things owners can do to protect their vehicles. With a lot of commercial vans access to catalytic converters is via the engine compartment. I would suggest to owners to deadlock the bonnet, he said. It is also worth considering investing in a clamp. The thefts happened after a yard in Shirehill Industrial Estate was broken in to between 12.30pm on Saturday and 11.30am on Sunday. Anyone with information should call police on 0300 333 4444 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111. Mr Caulfield can be reached by calling 0300 333 4444 ext 395387.