Auto Restore retailers and AAA Colorado crew as much as cease catalytic converter thefts in hopes of disrupting the black market – CBS Denver
DENVER (CBS4) – As Colorado catalytic converter theft cases continue to rise, AAA Colorado and auto repair shops hope to stop the crime. The hope is to put 10,000 stickers on catalytic converters to provide some way of tracking the part.
“Hopefully this will disrupt this black market, it will make it much more difficult to sell illegally acquired catalytic converters, and we hope it also means thinking twice before stealing any of them from cars,” said Skyler McKinley of AAA Colorado . “It’s a very strong sticker. It is very difficult to remove. But as an additional preventive measure, we also use a chemical etching component so that it matches the serial number of your catalytic converter. This number is then registered in an anti-theft database that can be queried by law enforcement agencies at parts yards, salvage companies, etc.
The problem was that a catalytic converter cannot be traced back to automobiles alone. The Denver Police Department recently launched a program to have chassis numbers engraved on the parts. Now the next time a car receives standard service, AAA Colorado hopes it can become a theft deterrent. AAA Colorado has partnered with about 150 repair shops across the state in an attempt to identify more catalytic converters.
“Now we have a serial number and can trace the catalysts back to their origin, which is crucial. This is just the beginning. But it’s also the beginning of the conversation where we’re hoping to let everyone know, ‘Hey, we can get this track now,’ ”said McKinley.
A recent study found that Colorado leads the nation in the increase in thefts compared to last year. There were only a few dozen catalytic converter thefts in Colorado in 2019. In 2021 there were already more than 2,500.
Repairs can cost car owners thousands.
“As a vehicle owner, you still need to do your best to park in well-lit areas to know that there is a risk out there. The sticker helps. Protection should deter them. But also, this is a brand new problem and this is a brand new solution. So it will take some time. Vigilance is always the key. “