Local businesses team up to stop catalytic converter theft

Updated: Jun. 16, 2021 at 4:41 PM CDT
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - Authorities say catalytic converter thefts are on the rise in the Bismarck-Mandan area. So businesses are joining in to combat the crime.

Catalytic converters have been mandatory in cars starting in 1975. These car parts are responsible for breaking down toxic car exhaust. But they also contain precious metals, which makes them a marketable item to steal.

With each engraved letter, the mechanics at Bismarck Tire Center are hoping to stop catalytic converter theft.

”We’re engraving ND to mark that it’s coming from North Dakota and the last eight of the VIN. What that helps us do, is track the catalytic converter back to the vehicle that it’s on,” said Rachel Gietzen, Bismarck Tire Center owner.

Starting Thursday, Bismarck and Mandan Tire Centers, Northwest Tire, and the Bismarck and Mandan Police Departments are working together to provide converter engraFix It Up Friday: Gutters & Downspoutsvings.

”We want to be able to link a catalytic converter back to its original vehicle. It helps us to have a victim in a crime,” said Lieutenant Patrick Haug with the Mandan Police Department.

If you think that your converter has been stolen, there are some signs to look for.

”When you start your car, there will be a really loud noise, a sound like a race car will happen,” said Gietzen.

Lt. Haug says, your converter can be stolen faster than you might think.

”I’m guessing they could probably if they’re not disturbed or anything, take five to 10 minutes max. It’s pretty quick if they have a battery-operated power tool,” said Haug.

The catalytic converter engravings are free, and available on Thursdays until July 8th.

The hours for each location are:

Bismarck Tire: 8:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.

Mandan Tire: 8:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.

A full list of Northwest Tire’s engraving events can be found on the Mandan Police Department Facebook page.

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