Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Mercedes vans targeted by thieves in Edinburgh and West Lothian

Exhaust and emission systems from Mercedes vans are being stolen, possibly for the precious metals they contain, police have warned.

Three vans were targeted in Broxburn, West Lothian on Monday and eight in Edinburgh between 5 and 6 January.

A section of the exhaust or catalytic converter was stolen causing about £1,000 to £3,000 damage per van.

Four Mercedes commercial vehicles also had exhausts stolen in the capital between 30 December and 4 January.

Sgt John Jackson, of Police Scotland, said: "Unfortunately, we have seen police forces right across the UK receive similar reports and it's an offence not specific to Scotland.

"However, I must add that only Mercedes commercial vehicles have been affected, such as taxis and vans, and there is no suggestion that Mercedes cars are at risk.

"Today, I'm urging Mercedes van drivers to consider taking precautions whenever possible such as parking in an area covered by CCTV and/or secure lighting.

"In addition, please consider 'defensive parking'. This can, for example, include leaving your vehicle in a spot that restricts someone from gaining access to the underside.

"It's also worth considering the purchase of specialist security products that can be fitted to catalytic converters in order to make them more secure."

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