Officials offer tips to protect property after rash of catalytic converter thefts

According to the New York Department of Motor Vehicles, parts of the state are seeing a 200% increase in the theft.

Nadia Galindo

May 6, 2022, 10:02 PM

Updated 805 days ago


New York is seeing an explosion of catalytic converter thefts.
According to the New York Department of Motor Vehicles, parts of the state are seeing a 200% increase in the theft.
"I get in the car and my car sounds like a thousand motorcycles that's when I knew something was wrong," said Vladimir, who didn't want to give his last name.
Vladimir, who lives in Yonkers, said he knew exactly what happened.
"My neighbor who lives near us had just told me that three other people were hit with the same kind of theft, and I didn't think it would happen, but it happened right here in front of my house," he said.
His car's catalytic converter was stolen in the cover of the night, and he had to shell out $2,000 to replace it.
Vladimir lives in the Dunwoodie section of Yonkers, close to the Cross County Parkway, and police say it's areas like this that thieves are targeting.
"Because of the access to the parkways they can quickly leave our area and immediately be in New York City or the Bronx," said Acting Yonkers Police Commissioner Chris Sapienza.
The car part is valuable to thieves because they are made with precious metals that can be sold for hundreds of dollars.
The Yonkers Police Department has made several arrests this year, including four men allegedly caught in red handed with three catalytic converters back in March.
Police say there are things people can do to protect their property.
"You often hear the police say if you see something say something and this is definitely one of those times," said Com. Sapienza.
  • Report suspicious noises and activity, especially in the early hours of the morning.
  • Park in a garage and well-lit area.
  • It's also a good idea to install a security camera pointed in the direction of where you park.
That's what Vladimir and a neighbor recently did.
"And now I'm going to make sure I check it more often," he said.
On Thursday, the New York State DMV announced a new initiative to help law enforcement track stolen catalytic converters.
The DMV will begin distributing etching kits to car dealers so they can etch traceable serial numbers onto the car part that can be quickly linked back to the vehicle it was stolen from.

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