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Preventing catalytic converter theft: NYPD organizes etching event at Bronx Orchard Beach, skyrocketing stolen equipment

Preventing catalytic converter theft: NYPD organizes etching event at Bronx Orchard Beach, skyrocketing stolen equipment

Preventing catalytic converter theft: NYPD organizes etching event at Bronx Orchard Beach, skyrocketing stolen equipment

Orchard Beach, The Bronx (WABC) — The NYPD took new action Friday to crack down on catalytic converter theft.

This has turned into a major problem in all five cities, from 2,000 cases in 2021 to 7,000 in 2022.

It’s not every day that motorists are happy to have their cars stopped by the NYPD. In fact, they stood in line hours earlier at Orchard Beach waiting for police to mark their catalytic converters, making them less likely to be stolen.

The NYPD reports that such thefts are up 220 percent over the past year. Converters are valuable because of the materials used to make automobile emissions less toxic. Thieves can chop up a tool in minutes after which they are usually sold to scrap yards where they are melted down and the precious metals extracted.

The NYPD program involves applying stickers with an identification number and then coating them with acid. The serial number is engraved in the steel as the tool heats up.

The marks help identify a stolen catalytic converter, but police say prevention is the key, which is why stickers are also placed on the window to alert potential burglars that the car has been registered.

The NYPD said Friday’s event was their largest turnout ever and the department plans to schedule more of them.

Eyewitness News is tracking crime and safety throughout New York City and your neighborhood

Preventing catalytic converter theft: NYPD organizes etching event at Bronx Orchard Beach, skyrocketing stolen equipment

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