A catalytic converter is used in vehicles to convert toxic engine exhaust into less harmful gasses. It's been announced that theft of catalytic converters is rising in New York State.

According to the New York State Department of Transportation, some areas of the Empire State are experiencing a 200 Percent Increase in thefts per year. On May 5th, the NYS DMV announced a new initiative to help law enforcement track stolen catalytic converters and deter thefts.

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A demonstration was held at the new conference showing a new process that "allows auto dealers to etch a traceable serial number onto the catalytic converter that can be clearly seen and quickly linked back to the vehicle from which it was stolen."

New York State Department of Transportation Commissioner Mark J.F. Schroeder announced that new car dealers have been hit hard by these types of thefts. And not only is it costly to replace those stolen catalytic converters (replacement costs averaging between $2000 and $3000 dollars), there most likely is a cost into the several thousand to fix the damage to the vehicle.

The NYS DMV notes that the value of precious metals continues to rise and that makes catalytic converters an attractive item that can net anywhere between $200 and $500 dollars.

According to the press release, the NYS DMV is working with regional auto dealers’ associations to distribute etching kits to dealers. If you are a dealer or consumer, for questions about the etching kits, contact your local auto dealer association.

For more information about the rise in theft of catalytic converters, visit the NYS DMV website.

via New York State Department of Motor Vehicles

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