Catalytic converter theft is common in Northern Colorado. The parts are often targeted by thieves because they can be removed from a vehicle in a matter of minutes and they often contain valuable precious metals such as platinum, palladium and rhodium.
One of the factors complicating this crime is that most catalytic converters are not traceable.
To address this issue, Windsor Police are partnering with the Colorado Auto Theft Prevention Authority (CATPA) to host a free Catalytic Converter Theft Prevention event for residents on Friday, March 3, from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., at the Windsor Police Department, 200 N. 11th St. Participants will receive a heat proof, destruction proof theft prevention do-it-yourself kit that etches a serial number into the catalytic converter.
To participate, residents must sign up for a designated time and acknowledge the number of kits they need based on the number of vehicles they own. They will need to bring their vehicle identification numbers (VIN) to the event where the do-it-yourself anti-theft kit will be registered back to their vehicle. The event is a drive-through event, so participants should plan to pull through the police department roundabout to receive their kit. Once home, residents will use the easy-to-follow etching instructions.
When registered, the catalytic converter becomes traceable to the vehicle’s identification number. If the catalytic converter is stolen, a victim can report their unique theft prevention kit serial number to police. Conversely, if officers find a detached catalytic converter, they can check the serial number through the CATPA database to locate the owner. Although etching a traceable number can’t stop a thief from stealing the component from a vehicle, it could be a deterrent as the unique etch alerts potential buyers that it is stolen.
Residents are also encouraged to contact their insurance company representative to see if their policy covers catalytic converter theft, and if not, what options they might have to add this coverage. Although the theft of a catalytic converter may be lucrative to thieves, vehicle owners can experience up to and in excess of $2,000 in replacement costs.
To register for the event, visit bit.ly/CatalyticKit. Space is limited so sign up today.
To learn more about CAPTA, to view a video about installing the theft prevention kit, to find the registration link, and more, visit lockdownyourcar.org. To learn more about the Windsor police, visit windsorpolice.com.