NYPD offers tips and tricks to avoid catalytic converter theft

As automobile catalytic converter thefts are on the rise in New York City, the NYPD took to Twitter on Wednesday to post about an upcoming event at their 112th Precinct in Forest Hills, Queens designed to help citizens combat the crime.

The tweet reads, “Combat Catalytic converter Theft Event taking place at the 112th Precinct on July 16, 2022, at 8:00 am. See flyer below for more details.” The flier includes such tips as “enrollment in the CatGuard database,” a “Window sticker,” and “using serial number and database enrollment to help police better investigate cases.”

The theft of catalytic converters comes amidst a marked increase in crime across New York City including a surge in violent crime which has seen an epidemic of subway-related attacks.

The New York Post reports that catalytic converter thefts had quadrupled in 2021 and continue to be a common occurrence in 2022.

NYPD Detective Thomas Kelly of the Auto Crimes Unit said thieves only need a Sawzall for the task. The criminal takes the tool, slides under a vehicle, cuts the unit out of place and “the whole process takes under two minutes.”

Catalytic converters are part of a car’s exhaust system and “uses a chamber called a catalyst to change the harmful compounds from an engine’s emissions” like smog “into safe gases, like steam.”

Rare metal elements such as rhodium, palladium and platinum are found in catalytic converters and can be fenced for cash.

SILive reported on Tuesday that over 250 catalytic converters have been stolen already in 2022 and “thieves continue to target Staten Island vehicles as prices for precious metals embedded in the widely-sought car part remain persistently high.”

The Staten Island-based outlet linked to a similar tweet from the 121st Precinct about the info session on the converter thefts.

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