Catalytic converter thefts described as ‘epidemic’ by DPD

Local News

DENVER (KDVR) — Due to an increase in catalytic converter thefts, the Denver Police Department has partnered with Lincoln Tech to host a catalytic converter etching and painting event for Denver residents. 

Students painted catalytic converters with high-temperature paint to provide a visual deterrent for thieves who resell stolen converters, and etching a partial vehicle VIN number provides a way for police to track recovered stolen converters.

“This could be described as an epidemic right now,” said Lt. Kevin Hines, DPD. “They contain platinum, palladium, rhodium. Rhodium can be sold for $21,000 per ounce right now. Even trace amounts can be valuable to a criminal.” 

From January to May, there have been 993 reports of stolen catalytic converters compared to 23 reports in 2020 for that same timeframe.

Tabitha Saltzman is a student at Lincoln Tech and said they can do the whole thing in three minutes. 

“We’ve had quite a few people in that already had their [catalytic converter] stolen a couple of times,” said Saltzman.

Three hundred available spots for the event were fully booked in advance. However, future etching/painting events are in the planning stages, with dates still to be determined.

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