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DENVER (KDVR) — Catalytic converter thefts are on the rise as changes to emission standards have increased their value.

Matt Story, an franchise owner for Big O Tires, said thieves can sometimes steal catalytic converters in just 30 seconds.

“They make a simple cut right in front of and right behind that catalytic converter and take that with them,” Story said.

Nicole Myer said her converter was stolen from her Honda Odyssey in Aurora.

“It was so casual. They didn’t care. They were just so casual about it. There was three young men. They just pulled up next to my car and took about six minutes. It was like no big deal,” Myer said.

Thieves often target vehicles left in exposed spaces.

“They are getting them in people’s driveways or apartment buildings where they are parked overnight,” Story said.

He said the increase is largely because the parts have risen in value.

“All the parts are becoming more expensive because of all the law changes and emission standards,” Story said.

To prevent catalytic converter theft, the Denver Police Department recommends painting them orange and etching the vehicle identification number into it to prevent them from being sold to recycling companies.