Catalytic converter thefts have skyrocketed the past few years along with the price of precious metals, and thieves aren’t slowing down yet. The costly automotive part is located under the vehicle. Criminals will jack up the car, slide underneath, and use a power tool to cut off the piece. They are then sold to scrap dealers for $150 to $500 each. Replacing your catalytic converter can cost up to $3,000!
Catalytic converters have no serial numbers or other identifying markings, making them virtually untraceable once stolen and all the more desirable for thieves.
This past summer, the State Legislature agreed to fund a new pilot program aimed at deterring catalytic converter thefts. The state will direct $400,000 towards the program, which will pay for car owners to have their catalytic converters engraved with their vehicles’ identification numbers or otherwise permanently marked so the parts could be identified if removed. Under Minnesota law, it is a crime to possess property known to be stolen or reasonably suspected of being stolen.
In the meantime, there are steps you can take to protect your vehicle:
Etch your license plate number into the catalytic converter
Install an anti-theft device
Park in a garage or well-lit areas
Lock vehicle and activate alarm
If you notice any suspicious activity, call 911.