TWO men involved in the theft of catalytic converters from vehicles across Leeds have been sentenced.

The pair were charged following a spate of incidents earlier this year where vehicles were targeted for the devices which are part of the exhaust system.

They can be removed in under a minute using tools and contain valuable metals that can sold as scrap.

The men were arrested on May 16 when officers stopped a silver Ford Mondeo that had been identified as being involved in a series of thefts that occurred between May 10 and May 15 this year in Tingley, West Ardsley, East Ardsley, Beeston, Roundhay, Halton and Austhorpe.

Tools that are commonly used to steal catalytic converters were recovered from the car.

Officers from Leeds District Crime Team led the investigation which resulted in the men being charged.

Patrick Maughan, 40, of Brothers Street, Blackburn, admitted eight offences of theft and was given a 15-month prison term

John Maughan, 35, of Foxstones Crescent, Blackburn, admitted three offences of theft and was given a 10-month term suspended for 18 months.

Detective Inspector Vicky Vessey, of Leeds District Crime Team, said: “The organised theft of catalytic converters from vehicles saw a sharp increase earlier this year in Leeds and across West Yorkshire, which mirrored a national trend.

“It is a crime that really affects victims who are unable to use their vehicles until they can be repaired and can also face sizeable expense and inconvenience.

“Officers from Leeds District Crime Team have been working alongside district and Force colleagues to mount proactive operations targeting those responsible, and the successful outcome of this investigation is testament to that work.

“We hope the victims and the wider community can take some reassurance from knowing these two have now had to answer for their actions.

“We have thankfully seen a significant reduction in the number of offences since the spike in numbers earlier this year, but we can never be complacent and are continuing to focus our attention on tackling this type of crime wherever offences do occur.

“We have been running initiatives to help drivers get their catalytic converters security marked and we encourage people to do this and to consider other crime prevention measures.

“We’d also ask that people remain vigilant and report any suspicious activity to us immediately.”

Detailed crime prevention advice is available online at

Brian Nevan, aged 29 of Chantry Road, Wakefield, was also charged with a conspiracy offence but previously failed to attend court. A warrant has been issued for his arrest.