MOTORISTS are being urged to protect their vehicles after catalytic convertors were stolen from a beauty spot.

A driver reported the theft after spotting the device had been stolen from their Toyota at around 11am on April 25.

The car was parked at the Old Lodge Nature Reserve in the Ashdown Forest, off the B2026 High Road at Hartfield.

A dark coloured van may have been seen in the area and left towards Uckfield.

Between 1pm and 2.30pm on April 29, another Toyota owner reported a similar theft from her vehicle, which was in a car park at the junction of High Road, Hartfield, and Black Hill.

Sussex Police said: “Catalytic convertors are often targeted by thieves as they contain valuable metals and can be removed in less than a minute.

“Catalytic converter theft most often occurs in car parks, but can happen anywhere.

“Thieves may then sell these converters via scrapyards, online, or ship them out of the country.

“Hybrid vehicles are more often targeted, as their metals are more valuable, but any vehicle can be at risk.”

Catalytic converters are part of a car’s exhaust system, helping reduce harmful emissions.

They contain a honeycomb coated with precious metals such as platinum, palladium and rhodium, which makes them attractive to thieves who steal the devices from parked cars and sell them on.

Replacement catalytic converters cost up to £1,000.