Moment brazen thieves removed motorist's catalytic converter as he watched

Three brazen thieves removed a motorist's catalytic converter as he watched, banging on the window to try and scare them off.

But instead of fleeing one of the masked trio just waved what looks like a baseball bat at him as his pal continue their theft.

The gang are then seen taking the car piece and their jack away before sauntering into their car and driving off.

The video shows one man under the car while two men keep watch. Each man is well covered making them hard to identify.

After seeing the thieves removing the car part from his Toyota Prius, the owner knocks on a window from inside his house, but the group doesn't stop.

Instead, one swings a baseball bat in the air as a threatening warning to the owner to keep his distance.

The robbery occurred around 10:30pm on Thursday on a driveway in Dartford.

The owner of the car, Carle De Vries, was shocked by the blatancy of the crime.

He said: "I cannot believe how brazen they were. I was banging on the window and that still did not deter them."

He posted the video to Facebook hoping to warn others.

Catalytic converter thefts have seen a surge in recent years with thieves often targeting hybrid cars which contain a higher concentration of the precious metal palladium.

It is a shiny white metal in the same group as platinum. The metal has increased in value in recent years, causing the car part to become more susceptible to thievery.

Currently palladium is worth around £1500 per ounce. While there is only a small amount of this metal in converters, criminals are still able to sell the part for around £200.

The car part converts harmful pollutants into water vapour, making cars more eco-friendly.

They are also easy to access, making it a speedy job for thieves.

Days prior to this crime, Mr De Vries also recorded two men attempting to steal his motorcycle from his driveway, but they were unsuccessful.

Mr De Vries is now having an after-market catalytic converter placed on his car which will then be locked behind a catalytic converter protector.

The RAC advises owners to boost home security, choose where to park carefully and add a lock, guard or alarm to their car. They also suggest adding a serial number to the car part to improve the chances of getting it back.

The police have been made aware of the crime and have been asked for further information