Catalytic converter thefts have skyrocketed across the nation. Colorado is the primary state to start out a program to stop thieves from stealing them.
Catalytic converters management your automobile’s exhaust emissions, and criminals are normally after the steel inside.
“There’s three treasured metals in them that, and I’ve finished a little analysis, which are really extra priceless than gold proper now. It is platinum, palladium and rhodium,” stated Detective Dennis Mallett with the Sand Creek Investigation Unit of the Colorado Springs Police Division.
Based on CSPD, solely three catalytic converters have been reported stolen in 2019 in Colorado Springs. Final yr, that quantity jumped to 106. As of June 11, 2021, police had 163 stories of stolen converters.
“Since about August of final yr, we have seen an enormous enhance in catalytic converter thefts, and as of proper now, it appears to be selecting up a bit extra,” Mallett stated. “We’re getting anyplace from 8 to 10 (stories) per week now.”
Statewide, the numbers are much more staggering. In 2019, there have been a complete of 151 catalytic converters reported stolen throughout Colorado. Final yr, that quantity rose to 930. Within the first half of 2021, practically 2,500 converters have been reported stolen within the state.
Skyler McKinley, AAA’s regional director of public affairs, stated the converters are so simply stolen and offered as a result of there’s no serial quantity or VIN to trace them.
“There was no approach for salvage yards, recyclers, auto components purchasers to know whether or not the catalytic converter that lands in entrance of them is official or stolen,” McKinley stated.
That’s why AAA Colorado just lately introduced it had teamed up with the Colorado Auto Theft Prevention Authority to supply a first-of-its-kind program to assist stop catalytic converter thefts.
“We’re going to etch serial numbers onto each catalytic converter that will get in entrance of our retailers,” McKinley stated. “These serial numbers are entered right into a trackable, searchable database by regulation enforcement, so the second someone tries to purchase a catalytic converter, they will then learn that barcode, that serial quantity and know, ‘Oh, nicely, this isn’t the one that’s purporting to be the proprietor. What occurred right here?’”
Individuals who get their catalytic converter labeled may also be given a sticker to place of their automobile window to discourage thieves.
“As soon as thieves know that this isn’t one thing that may be simply stolen, they are going to cease stealing catalytic converters. And should you method a car that clearly has catalytic converter safety in place, it is simply not value, financially, the train since you could be caught now — and we couldn’t say that earlier than — and in addition, you won’t be capable to promote the system — and we couldn’t say that till now.”