Car thieves are at work in Westhoughton, police have warned.

Officers with GMP Bolton West alerted residents to two vehicle thefts in and around the Church Street area ­— with work vans being targeted.

A spokesman for the neighbourhood team said: "There have been two theft from vehicle offences reported around the Church Street area of Westhoughton with work vans being targeted.

"A catalytic converter was stolen from one and work tools were stolen from the other.

"Please don't make it easy for them - don't leave any tools or valuables in your vehicle and make sure you lock up.

"The GMP Bolton West Neighbourhood Team are aware."

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Catalytic converters are often targeted by thieves, whether opportunistic or more organised, because of the rare metals they sometimes contain.

Those metals are then sold on to scrapyards, sold online or shipped overseas, sometimes fetching prices of hundreds of pounds but cost much more for the rightful owners to replace.

There were a spate of such thefts in Bolton last year, which The Bolton News highlighted, with the issues raised with police at meetings.

Concerns about catalytic converters have been raised all around the borough.

Those with any information about crime in the area you can make an online report at or you can report anonymously via Crimestoppers at

For advice to deter criminals targeting vehicles visit

Advice includes how to protect keyless entry car.