New York State Declares War on Catalytic Converter Theft, Lays Out Plan of Attack

Sometimes, when something wild happens on the streets of New York City, we pass it off as par for the course. Just New York things, you know? But when it comes to a statewide spike in catalytic converter theft, New Yorkers are just about sick and tired of it all.
Catalytic Converter Theft 6 photos
Photo: Reddit/mildly infuriating
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A potential solution appears to come directly from the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles. This past week, New York DMV Commissioner Mark Schroeder addressed the press to explain why the precious metals inside catalytic converters are so valuable.

"Just to kind of give you an idea of how costly these metals are, as of December of 2020, Rhodium was valued at $14,500 per ounce," explained Schroer, leader of New York state's motor vehicle department since 2019. "Palladium was at $2,336 per ounce, and Platinum at around $1,000 per ounce. Nationwide, according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau."

According to reports, New York City Detective Maureen Stefanelli, a member of the city's auto crime division, devised an idea to try and nip this nasty new trend in the bud. Etching a well-defined serial number onto every New York State motorist's catalytic converter, either via a sticker or direct physical means, would allow authorities to identify the vehicle from which it was stolen. Assuming this feature can be implemented in time for 2022 and 23's state inspection, it should be viable on a wide scale sometime soon.

"This sticker is made by a third-party company," said Stefanelli. "But to bring the program to New York was an idea that myself and Detective Thomas Burke put our heads together and came up with because we're trying to find any way to deter this theft working in auto crime, we work with the theft of catalytic converters, almost every day. And during COVID, there was a huge rise, and it still continues today." Whether this method will yield positive results remains to be seen.
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