A SUSPECT was arrested at a supermarket after catalytic converters were stolen from a number of cars parked at Chester Zoo.

At least three vehicles at the zoo – a Toyota Prius, a Toyota Auris and a Lexus RX 400 – had parts stolen between 1pm and 5pm on Thursday, July 9.

A 35-year-old man from Burnley has been arrested in connection with the thefts.

He was held at the petrol station outside the Morrisons store off Wilderspool Causeway in Warrington at around 1.30pm on Tuesday, July 14.

Eyewitnesses reported seeing his vehicle being boxed in by police cars as he was filling up at one of the pumps.

Cheshire Police’s enquiries are ongoing, and detectives are appealing for information.

Detective sergeant Stuart Needham said: “We are determined to establish who stole the catalytic converters from the cars of people who were visiting the zoo and make them face the consequences of their actions.

“As part of our ongoing enquiries, we want to speak to anyone who was at Chester Zoo between 1pm and 5pm on Thursday, July 9, and witnessed anything suspicious.

“It takes specialist tools to remove catalytic converters from vehicles.

“If you saw, or have dashcam footage of, anyone acting suspiciously in the zoo’s car park please contact the team here at Chester Police Station.

“The same goes for anyone who believes that they may know who stole the catalytic converters.”

A number of catalytic converter thefts have been reported across Cheshire in the past few months.

Inspector Anton Sullivan, of Cheshire Police’s road crime unit, said: “Offenders have been predominantly targeting hybrid vehicles.

“Honda, Toyota, Lexus and Kia cars have been targeted but other vehicles may also be at risk.

“I encourage motorists to be vigilant and review any security measures they have in place – I also urge people to call the police on 101 as soon as possible if they see anyone removing catalytic converters or acting suspiciously in car parks or other areas where cars are left.

“In addition, I ask scrap metal dealers to be mindful if they are ever offered catalytic converters or exhaust systems and to contact us if they suspect that they could have been stolen.”

Anyone with any information on the thefts at Chester Zoo is urged to contact the force on 101, quoting incident number IML750343, or to call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.